Malaria outbreak: Turkana hit by abnormal malaria strain

Thursday, August 29th, 2019 00:00 |
Malaria spreading mosquito. Photo/Courtesy

Health ministry has raised the red flag on an outbreak of malaria in Turkana and called for immediate intervention.

In a letter dated August 28, acting director of Medical Services Dr Wekesa Masasabi wants the county to strengthen weekly surveillance and undertake daily line listing of cases at the facility to enable tracking key indicators.

He wants the county government to document the number of suspected malaria cases, tested, confirmed and severe incidences, and the number of those admitted and deaths.

“The division of National Malaria programme has received reports from Turkana County on an unusual purge of malaria attributed to the rains that began in the month of June 2019,” read the letter in part. 

“The upsurge started with three sub-counties namely Loima, Turkana West and Turkana South being most affected but at the moment, it has spread to all the seven sub-counties,” the letter addressed to the County Executive Member for Health and copied to the Council of Governors (CoG) further states.

Set threshold

The ministry said by week 33 after the epidemic, 29 out of the 35 sentinel facilities for monitoring malaria outbreaks, in the county, had confirmed cases beyond the set threshold. It said the ministry is aware the county medical personnel had initiated some responsive activities to contain the situation.

“The purpose of this letter is to encourage your county and sub-county HMTs to activate the existing EPR plans to enable implementation of key appropriate interventions to contain the current upsurge,” the director advised.

To contain the outbreak the Governor Josephat Nanok-led administration has carried out public sensitisation and community education at the village level for prompt care-seeking and personal protection from mosquito bites.

Further, the ministry said the health department should establish county and sub-county outbreak management committees to share the report with at the national level.

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