Here’s the latest chapter of the GUW Minute--with a special guest!
THE PERSISTENT PROBLEM OF MALARIA
As many of you know, malaria continues to be a very serious disease for many parts of Africa, including the region of Uganda where we work. Over the past several months, our clinic has seen a dramatic rise in cases, and several of our staff members have fallen ill. Our clinic is doing what it can to offer services to both treat and prevent the disease. Recently we got a report on the issue from our Health Program Officer, Anthony Munene. I’m going to let him “take over” this GUW minute to let you know what’s going on. In Anthony’s words:
According to Ministry of Health (MoH), malaria is the leading killer disease in Uganda with an estimated 400 people and more dying every month and unfortunately children and the elderly population being largely affected. Currently some parts of the country are experiencing high prevalence rates of malaria disease burden and Tororo District being one of them. Records at St. John’s Kayoro Health Center (SJKHC) show that over 60% of all patients treated have complicated (advanced) and uncomplicated (less advanced) malaria disease.
Over the last 2 months, we are witnessing a change in malaria symptoms especially in children below the age of 10 years who are passing red urine with blood cells in them. This new malaria symptom has been termed by the MoH as the black water fever which is also called malarial hemoglobinuria which is a dangerous complication of malaria. In this condition, the red blood cells rupture into the bloodstream and due to the rupturing, the hemoglobin directly enters the blood vessels and causes blood in urine and may frequently lead to kidney failure and anemia.
Fortunately SJKHC is managing this condition and majority of our clients are making very good recovery from this. In the efforts of fighting malaria in our communities, our health facility was a beneficiary of donations under the US President's Malaria Initiative. SJKHC received the following last week:
1. 50 treated mosquito nets to benefit 50 clients
2. 1,500 malaria test strips to benefit testing of 1,500 clients. Projected to last until October 2023.
3. 540 coartem malaria oral drugs to benefit 540 sick adults. Projected to last between 7 to 8 months.
4. 330 coartem malaria oral drugs to benefit 330 sick children. Projected to last between 6 to 7 months.
SJKHC is very appreciative of these donations and is optimistic that the malaria prevalence rate in the communities will go down through continuous health education, sensitizations and client follow up activities.
It’s clear that our clinic is at the frontlines in fighting this disease and is a valuable resource to the community. I thank you all for your support of our health work. Here’s hoping we will soon see the day when this terrible disease is completely eradicated!