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Malaria challenge among expectant, children in Homa Bay

Homa Bay residents have been urged to embrace the use of treated mosquito nets to help curb the high rates of malaria infections in the region.

Currently, the prevalence rate of malaria infection among expectant mothers and children under the age of five years stands at 30 percent within the county due to the region’s proximity to Lake Victoria.

According to the county health department, malaria was the top cause of mortality in the region after pneumonia despite various measures having been put in place to curb the spread.

Speaking to journalists at Sena Health Center in Mfangano Island within Suba North Sub County yesterday, the Department’s Chief Officer Gerald Akeche disclosed that a majority of outpatients who visit public health facilities in the county test positive for malaria.

He added, however, that the infection rate was higher among expectant mothers and children below the age of five years due to their weak immunity.

The officer explained that the county government has been partnering with various development allies in the health department to promote various intervention measures such as the distribution of treated mosquito nets and regular indoor sprays against mosquitoes.

“Over 90 percent of households within the county have received free mosquito nets, however, we still urge our residents to embrace the malaria vaccine and to keep a clean environment as a way of clearing possible breeding grounds for mosquitoes,” added Akeche.

He also called on the residents to go for check-ups if they exhibit signs of malaria as the treatment drugs, vaccines, and the nets are available at public health facilities for free.

By Omar Zabbibah and Lang’at

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