Surge in malaria cases worry authorities in Dokolo

Dokolo – Over 27,000 malaria cases have been registered in Dokolo district within a space of 17 weeks.

According to the data released by Elijah Ewanu, the district health department biostatistician, from January to March 2023, the district registered 27,899 cases of malaria across Outpatient Department (OPD). Of these, 4% were severe, the data shows.

The data also reveals that the inpatient admissions were 2,895 with inpatient malaria deaths of 7 for children between 0 and 4 years. The malaria mortality in the inpatient department stood at 0.7% in the above-mentioned period.

Meanwhile, the malaria incidence per 1,000 population and malaria burden from January to March 2023 put Kwera sub-county in the lead with 70% followed by Adeknino at 67%, Kangai at 65%, Bata at 63%, Agwata at 62% and Okwalongwen at 60% among others.

According to Ewanu, Malaria test positivity rates by sub-county show that the most at-risk sub-counties are Bata, Agwata, Kwera and Adeknino among others.

Speaking during the district malaria epidemic response meeting led by Barbra Akech the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) and chairperson district Malaria taskforce, Dr. Samuel Ojok the District Health Officer (DHO) stated that the fight against malaria must start from home before it moves to the institutions.

Ojok noted that there is a need for a mindset change in the community to be able to fight the life-threatening disease.

Tom Opio, the district malaria focal point person, calls for partners to support Mass Action Against Malaria (MAAM) in sub-counties.

According to Opio, there is a need to strengthen the strategy of tracking malaria from home adding that whenever two or more members of the same family are tested positive, the whole family and village should be tested and proper treatment given to them.

Santos Okuja, the secretary health and education in Dokolo district, calls for strengthening health education in different facilities, churches, and schools with VHTs on the lead.

Moses Ocen, the district Vice chairperson while closing the meeting called for clear village data for the treated mosquito nets beneficiaries to avoid controversy in September – October net distribution through the Ministry of Health.

Ocen urged the community to embrace malaria primary prevention strategies as a key to their safety.

In April, the district malaria epidemic response meeting came out with strong resolutions including the use of Parish Development Model structures to reach the community and sensitize them about Malaria.

Other resolutions were; the need to review the LC1 sub-committee to monitor the fight against malaria and other cases in the villages, encouraging people to plant mosquito repellents and more male champions to be identified to help in mobilization among others.

Dokolo district with an overall population of 227,100, 14 sub-counties/town councils 71 parishes, and 484 villages has only 1 health center IV, 9 health center IIIs, and 7 health center IIs

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