County accused fo failing to contain malaria disease in Baringo South

A doctor attends to children's suffering from Malaria in ward five at Kakamega County General hospital on May 25, 2015. Seven children's have died at the hospital in a span of one day as the facility lacks enough medic and nurses to handle the situation. [Photo: Benjamin Sakwa/Standard]

The county administration has been blamed for doing little to contain a surge in malaria cases.

Local administrators have said at least 15 people have died of malaria-related ailments in the last two months.

The most affected areas are Salabani, Ng’atwa, Ilchamus, Keserian and Ng'ambo locations, with at least 10 people feared dead in the past one month alone.

Salabani location assistant chief Nelson Parkolwa said the county administration had been informed about the deaths, but took no action, warning that more lives could be lost.

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“Nothing is being done to address the issue. We are worried that we might have more people dying,” said Parkolwa.

He appealed for more mosquito nets, saying recent floods had enabled increased breeding of mosquitoes in affected areas.

He said the county last distributed nets three years ago. 

At Ilchamus, Chief John Ekesio said at least three people died last week after showing malaria symptoms.

Mr Ekesio said patients travelled to Marigat hospital, about 20 kilometers away, for treatment.

“Some died before they could be taken to hospital. We are convinced the deaths were caused by malaria because there are so many mosquitoes here,” he said.

He, too, claimed he reported the cases to county officials.

“I brought them on Monday, but nothing has been done,” he said.

According to Ekesio, the county has not distributed mosquito nets.

In Keserian, at least three people are suspected to have died of malaria last week.

Area chief, George Kaseiya said three other people died last month after exhibiting malaria symptoms.

He called for the county health department to intervene.

“We are hoping health officials will act to prevent more deaths,” he said.

A health official stationed at Marigat hospital, who requested anonymity, said cases of re-infection were on the rise.

“The ultimate solution to contain the disease is to prevent it, this means we need to distribute more mosquito nets,” said the health official.

County director of public health Marachi Kipsang admitted that there was a surge in malaria cases, but maintained that only four people had died from the disease.

Dr Kipsang said medics had been deployed to affected areas and blood samples taken to Marigat hospital for tests.

“It is true there is a rise in number of malaria cases in the sub county, tests are underway for proper documentation,” he said.

Kipsang said his department was training residents on how to use mosquito nets to prevent further spread of the disease.

He said the county distributed 6,000 mosquito nets last year.

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