In Uganda, at least 50% of people who report illness are shown to be suffering from Malaria. According to the 2010/2011 Health Management Information System (HMIS) report, malaria prevalence in the catchment area of Bwindi Community Hospital (BCH) in children under 5 years of age is 13.5%, and 7.9% in people aged 5 and above.
Malaria attacks are more frequent in pregnant women and children under five years, as these groups lack protective immunity and are therefore more likely to suffer from severe malaria and die from the disease. Through their Community Health and Batwa Department in its malaria prevention programme, BCH has a continuous prevention agenda of reducing malaria to the lowest level possible. This year’s malaria day will be celebrated by BCH under the theme “Sustain Gains, Save Lives: Invest in Malaria” and these are some of the approaches that they use to fight it:
Distribution and use of Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs): This campaign aims at teaching people to sleep under ITNs to avoid bites and prevent malaria with a target of having two ITNs per household. ITNs have shown to be cost-effective in the prevention of malaria and the number of people using ITNs is increasing as the campaign continues. Through a partnership with Buy-A-Net Canada and collaboration with traditional village leaders, BCH has been able to supply 3,000 nets to the communities in nine months, though the supplies remain limited. This has helped to bridge the gap between the hospital and the villages for malaria prevention.
Malaria sensitisation: Malaria sensitisation is carried out to raise awareness of the illness and how to combat it. This is done through a school health programme, church and mosque sensitisation, engagement with traditional health promoters, interactive radio talk shows, health talks on malaria during antenatal clinics and immunisation, especially for children and pregnant women. Through this BCH are able to reach 100,000 people.
Spraying: Spraying occurs is in all staff houses and hospital premises twice a year. The spray repels mosquitoes and therefore prevents hospital staff, patients and attendants from catching malaria.
Destroying mosquito breeding places: Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, such as ditches. By placing either oil films or some other sort of covering over these places, breeding is limited and consequently so is malaria infection. This is carried out as a community activity to involve all people in the fight against malaria.
On World Malaria Day several activities are being conducted. These include:
Stella breastfeeds her child as the team from the hospital look on during her follow up visit. As the world … more