The Ministry of Health has confirmed an increase in malaria cases in West Pokot County whereby 16% of patients at the outpatient section in Kapenguria hospital have been diagnosed with the disease. The disease affects mostly children below five years and below.
County health and sanitation Chief Officer Mrs. Christine Akuto disclosed that the region had been hard hit by malaria this season due to the weather pattern. “We are likely to see an extraordinary increase in numbers (of patients diagnosed) as a result of the rainy season,” noted Akuto.
Akuto said the rain pattern is favorable to breeding mosquitoes which transmit the disease, hence the high infection rate.
She advised the residents to seek medical attention in case they realize any symptoms of the disease so that they can be treated in time. She noted that one of the foremost measures to prevent the spread of the disease is through the distribution of mosquito nets.
Moreover, West Pokot first lady Mrs. Josephine Kachapin has distributed 800 mosquito nets in a bid to curb rising cases of malaria. “I walked around in the wards and there were no mosquito nets,” she said.
Mrs. Kachapin said the nets would be essential in tackling the spread of the disease and urged those who got the nets to use them for the intended purpose rather than as fences for vegetable gardens as has been the case before.
She noted that cases of malaria infection are mostly among pregnant women and children. She also challenged residents in the County to sleep under mosquito nets to protect themselves and their children the rainy season.