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Malaria deaths still big menace in Ankore, experts say

Fr. Bonaventure receiving Ant-Malaria paint from Plascon’s brand manager Lungi Koni as other guest looks on. (PHOTO/BOB AINE)

MBARARA – Dr. Peter Ssebutinde, the district health officer Mbarara, has revealed that malaria is still the leading cause of deaths in Ankore region among children and pregnant women calling for more interventions to avert the menace.

Mr. Ssebutinde noted that other cases have been reported among the elderly and people living with HIV patients. Those about 36% patient admissions in most hospitals are malaria cases.

He made these remarks at the launch of Anti-mosquito paint from Kansai Plascon at Holy Innocents Children Hospital in Mbarara on Thursday, April 11.

“Early identification and treatment is better way to prevent malaria and the government has come up with very many initiatives to eradicate malaria, so on top of that, now we have got a paint mixed with pyrethrum derivatives to kill mosquitoes. I think this is a spot on initiative which is targeting children,” Mr. Ssebutinde noted.

Dr Ssebutinde and others visiting the children wards where the paint is going to be used. (PHOTO/BOB AINE)

He added: “This is a good public health intervention for malaria prevention in homes since this paint kills mosquitoes, it has been put on trials, tasted and proven that the same derivatives used in mosquito nets is the same used in this paint. ”

He commended the Kansai Plascon group for having thought about children and other vulnerable groups who die of malaria.

Ms. Lungi Koni, Plascon’s regional brand manager, said the ‘Hold my hand to five’ campaign aims at highlighting the plight of most vulnerable malaria victims especialy children while driving a consumer education on the fight against malaria.

She noted that about 70% malaria deaths involve children under the age of five, making malaria prevention an urgent need in Uganda and Africa as a whole.

“Anti-malaria paint is a vector control paint to underprivileged schools across the country, this is an additional vector control initiative that will work with other existing mosquito control measures by the ministry of health to help those children under the age of five and pregnant mothers, ” Ms. Lungi said.

Dr. James Karuhanga from Holy Innocents Hospital who represented Dr. Steven Busingye, the hospital Head, noted that since the inception of the hospital in 2009, it has registered over 18, 631 children with malaria.

Lungi Koni(M) explaining to how the paints work to CAO Mbarara Kweyamba Ruhemba, Dr. Peter Ssebutinde and Fr. Bonaventure in the children’s ward. (PHOTO/BOB AINE)

He noted that there was high infant mortality rate and that apparently 35% of their admissions are malaria cases.

“We are happy that our walls are going to be painted with anti-mosquito paints to deter mosquitoes from biting out children in the wards, it is on record that one can acquire malaria from the hospital so this initiative is good for the hospital, ” he said.

Fr. Bonaventure Turyomumazima, the project coordinator, at Holy Innocents Hospital, said that it has been the initiative of the Mbarara Archdiocese to ensure that also children of five make it to 50 years and beyond by reducing infant mortality rates.

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