Malaria prevalence in Kisumu has dropped significantly following a successful free mass distribution of insecticide treated mosquito nets by the national government.
The program, which was rolled out in 2017, has given impetus to the fight against the killer disease leading to a 10 per cent prevalence down from 38 in 2010.
The Kisumu County Malaria Program Officer, Lillian Adayo attributed the success to proper use of mosquito nets adding that cases of child mortality caused by malaria have also gone down.
According to Adayo, 650, 000 mosquito nets were distributed to 230, 000 households and mechanisms put in place to enforce proper use of the same.
“We launched an advocacy to sensitize the locals on proper mosquito net use to help contain the disease,” she said.
“In the past, some households opted to use the nets for fishing while others used them to fence off their farms to keep off birds,” she said.
As a long term measure to deter improper use of the nets, Adayo proposed enactment of legislation to punish those found misusing them to ensure that the gains made in the fight against the disease were not reversed.
The County Government of Kisumu, she said, has availed free malaria drugs at all health facilities in the country to enhance access to treatment.
She urged the locals who present malaria symptoms to rush to nearby health facilities for treatment.
Indoor residual spraying, she added, has been planned for mosquito prone areas to tame breeding of the insects adding that Seme Sub-County was the worst affected and efforts were being made to reverse the tide.
This, she said, was due to the area’s proximity to Siaya County which has the highest prevalence in the region currently standing at 40 per cent
Adayo called for inter-county efforts in fighting the disease and urged other county governments within the lake basin to follow outlined malaria prevention and control measures to win the war.
By Sophy Akinyi/Beryl Ochieng’