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Machogu roots for preventive approach in fighting spread of malaria

Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Education Ezekiel Machogu has rooted for preventive approaches to end malaria in Kenya rather than the curative way as it is affordable and can be readily implemented at individual and household level.

CS Machogu made the remarks at Ekerenyo grounds in Nyamira County while presiding over the national celebrations of World Malaria Day emphasizing the importance of residents taking the first initiative to put in place preventive measures at their homes so that they are not infected by the disease.

“Make good use of mosquito nets while sleeping at night to avoid bites by mosquito spreading parasites which you are freely provided for by government and accept to do regular check up to know your malaria status so that you can treat correctly instead of buying medication over the chemist counter when you fell unwell and maintain cleanliness in your homesteads at all times,” Machogu advised.

“Men have not done so well in knowing their malaria status, they are reluctant to do the tests when requested saying that they will only take the test when they are sick,” he said.

“You are the same people who do not want to readily take the HIV/AIDS voluntary test and just assume that so long as your body is not aching anywhere then you are in good health. That assumption is ill informed the reason why we are losing many men early due to late diagnostic when treatment may not do much to save their lives,” Machogu observed.

He lauded Nyamira County government for their efforts in reducing the infection rate from 8.9% in 2018 to 1% in 2022, stating it’s not a mean achievement noting that the county is situated in the highlands which is classified as a malaria endemic zone.

Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Health, Susan Nakhumincha, while giving her speech confirmed that the government had distributed 16 million mosquito nets countrywide to ensure residents staying in malaria prone areas sleep under a net and stocked health facilities with anti-malaria drugs.

She said they have equipped the community health volunteers with malaria rapid test kits so that they can test all household members within their areas of jurisdiction to know their status and administer appropriate interventions.

“As the County boss, you must put in place motivation strategies for health workers and community health volunteers so that they can be able to deliver effective services at our health facilities or homes and stop issuing strike notices now and again because the health and lives of vulnerable Kenyans will be at stake and growth of our already struggling economy be stalled,” CS Nakhumincha challenged Governor Nyaribo.

She appreciated immense support from partners who they have collaborated to fight malaria and appealed to them to still continue with the support because without them, malaria could have been declared a national crisis by now.

The Principal Secretary for Public Health and Professional Standards, Dr. Josphine Mburu appealed to men to go for testing so that the fight against malaria can be reduced to zero infection.

Governor Amos Nyaribo thanked the Health Cabinet Secretary for their decision to consider Nyamira to host the national event and highlighted that it has not been a walk in the path to reduce the rate of malaria infections from 8.9% to 1%.

“Our County financial constraints could not enable us sustain the fight against new malaria infections single handedly, I therefore thank all our partners who have made it possible for us to reach this far and appreciate the trust from the Ministry of Health has had in us to give us an opportunity to host this national event.” Nyaribo stated.

By Deborah Bochere

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