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Malaria cases, deaths on the rise – Health Ministry

Mosquitoes spreading malaria accounted for 42 percent of hospital admissions. File Photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The number of malaria cases and deaths are on the rise according to the annual health sector performance review report for 2019/2020.

The reports shows that the disease was the main reason people sought care at hospitals.

According to the ministry of health, since last year, the prevalence of malaria in the country has shot up and now stands at 15 per 100,000 people of the population compared to 8.3 in 2018/19.

Figures also show that the disease was the biggest cause of hospital admissions accounting for 42 percent and pneumonia at 11 percent for children five years of age. In children and adults above the age of five, malaria accounted for 30 percent of all admissions.

The disease also accounted for 27 percent of all the deaths that were recorded in hospital per 100,000 people. In 2018/2019, the disease accounted for 15 percent of the deaths per every 100,000 people.

Dr. Henry Mwebesa, the director general at the ministry of health says that the high number of malaria related deaths and admissions are worrying and something needs to be done urgently.

Mwebesa also says the surge in cases could have been caused by heavy rains that were experienced which led to many stagnant pools of water ideal for mosquito growth.

Uganda carried out its last mass mosquito net distribution in 2017. According to the health ministry, the high number of malaria cases registered in the country could be as a result of a gap in the malaria protection policy.

Despite the surge in cases, Dr. Jimmy Opigo says the cases will hopefully be reduced in the next year. “This year we hope to see a reduction in the malaria cases and even deaths due to the on going mosquito net distribution exercise. We have distributed over 15 million nets and this will bring down the number,” said Opigo.

Other conditions that took people to hospital included cough and cold or flu, pneumonia and injuries such due to accidents.

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