TREATED

Baringo to get 10,000 mosquito nets to contain malaria outbreak

Priority will be given to pregnant women and children of below five years

In Summary

• Reports indicate that at least 10 people have died and more than 3,000 others are ailing from the outbreak. 

• Three quarters of Kenya's estimated population is at risk of malaria. 

Health CS Sicily Kariuki
OUTBREAK: Health CS Sicily Kariuki
Image: MAGDALINE SAYA

The government will distribute more than 10,000 treated mosquito nets in Baringo county in efforts to control the current malaria outbreak.

Priority will be given to pregnant women and under-fives, who are the most vulnerable. Reports indicate that at least 10 people have died and more than 3,000 others are ailing. 

In October 2017, at least 10 people, including children, died in the same area of malaria. More than 400 others were hospitalised.

Malaria is still a major public health and socioeconomic problem in Kenya, with three-quarters of the estimated population of more than 40 million at risk of the disease.

“This year, several counties, including Baringo, have experienced elevated levels of malaria cases with a marked strain on the health care delivery system,” Health CS Sicily Kariuki said.

The Cabinet secretary spoke on Monday when she visited the region.

The World Health Organization, in a report released two weeks ago, called for new ways to prevent, treat and eradicate malaria.

The global agency said most of the methods used to tackle malaria today such as insecticide-treated mosquito nets, indoor residual spraying and rapid diagnostic tests were developed in the last century.

According to the WHO, an infant dies from malaria every two minutes. The WHO has appealed to governments to invest in universal health coverage to improve access to services and better surveillance to guide a more targeted malaria response.

Kariuki, however, commended the county government for the prompt response to the outbreak that has resulted in less transmission and improved treatment outcomes, and averted deaths.

“I would like to assure the people of Baringo, Turkana, West Pokot, Marsabit, Uasin Gishu and Elgeyo Marakwet counties that are experiencing an upsurge in the malaria cases that this situation is under control,” CS Sicily said.

She reiterated the national government’s commitment to providing additional technical support, capacity building as well as the necessary malaria control testing and treatment commodities.

In the last three years, successes attributed to the implementation of malaria interventions have led to the reduction of cases by one third in health facilities countrywide.

Through these interventions, 20 million mosquito nets were distributed to the most-at-risk populations.

Subsequently, the initiative has increased the ownership of nets in households in the high-burden areas to 83 per cent.

Edited by R.Wamochie