The Ministry of Health & Medical Services (MHMS) is closely monitoring the current increase in cases of malaria and other vector-borne diseases like dengue.
A significant proportion of malaria infections are Plasmodium vivax (P.vivax) infections. Due to its complex biology, P.vivax has the ability to lay dormant in the liver and relapse at a later time.
This was stated by Dr Nemia Bainivalu, Deputy Secretary Health Improvement Ministry of Health and Medical Services in the weekly Prime Minister’s Office Press Conference last week Friday.
Dr Bainivalu in responding to questions of what the Ministry is doing in terms of the recent increased cases of Malaria and Dengue fever, said that targeted interventions is being carried out to control the mosquito population that transmits malaria, dengue and other mosquito -borne diseases. “These include spraying insecticides, removing breeding sites, and distributing mosquito nets to vulnerable populations which was completed last year”.
“Our health facilities across the country continue to provide early detection and diagnosis of these diseases with ongoing trainings to recognize the symptoms, conduct tests, advice and provide treatment”, said Dr Bainivalu.
He explained that in terms of treatment the Ministry is continuing its efforts o make sure that adequate supplies of drugs and other medical equipment such as rapid test kits are available to treat patients diagnosed with malaria. “Supportive care to those with underlying complications such as NCDs are also ongoing to help them recover from the disease”.
Dr Bainivalu however said that for these initiatives to be effective public support is crucial.
Public are urged to help reduce the number of cases through
The Ministry at every opportunity during routine clinical care, educates the public about the risk factors and symptoms of malaria, as well as ways to prevent their transmission including the need to complete 14 days primaquine if advised by doctors to prevent reoccurrence of malaria. Health workers also undergo refresher training on malaria case management during routing supervisory visits.
“We will continue to closely monitor the situation and adapt our responses as necessary to protect the health of our people”, said Dr Bainivalu.
At the Press Conference Dr Bainivalu also conveyed that deaths have been recorded by health due to malaria and therefore the importance of presenting to health clinics for testing as soon as symptoms show.