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Kenya says malaria prevalence on decline

06 April 2016, 12:05

Nairobi (Xinhua) -- A new national survey on malaria in Kenya shows a major decline in prevalence thanks to household use of mosquito nets and visits to health facility for treatment.

The 2015 Kenya Malaria Indicator Survey (KMIS), which was launched in Nairobi on Tuesday, shows that the prevalence has reduced in the Lake Victoria region, a region known for outbreak of malaria, from 38 percent in 2010 to 27 percent in 2015.

"The success is attributed to ownership of Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLIN) by most households," Acting Director of Medical Services at health ministry Jackson Kioko said at the launch of the survey results.

Kioko noted that ownership and of nets has increased in the past six years, whereby more than six in 10 households now own the nets as compared to 4.4 in 10 households in 2010.

"The number of high risk group's namely pregnant women and children using the nets at night has also increased tremendously, leading to low deaths in the two groups," he added.

The survey found out that 63 percent of households own at least one LLIN and that 56 percent of children under five years and 58 percent of pregnant women sleep under LLIN.

The survey indicates that the decline in malaria prevalence in the lake endemic zone is promising, but called for the need to continue to fully scale up malaria control interventions in the lake endemic region.

The survey also notes that there is need to continue focused intervention efforts in the coastal region to stem the slight increase in prevalence observed there.

Kioko challenged health personnel to adopt a weekly monitoring given that the diseases is still the major killer in the country, accounting for 16 percent of bed occupants in health facilities.

"To sustain the gains, investment levels need to be maintained, especially in the high burden areas around Lake Victoria and in the coastal region," said the Head of National Malaria Control Program Dr. Waqo Ejersa.

Waqo recommended that the importance of using a parasitological test to diagnose malaria prior to treatment should be emphasized since most fevers will not be due to malaria in low prevalence zones.

- Xinhua

Tags malaria

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