KENYA: Kakamega County government has signed a partnership with Population Service (PS) Kenya and other local stakeholders over the weekend in a campaign to fight malaria.
The partnership will see over 900 mosquito nets distributed in the county, local dispensaries equipped with basic malaria drugs and a launch of community sensitization campaigns.
Speaking while receiving malaria drugs worthy sh200, 000 from a local business Midland Emporium, the County Executive committee in Charge of Health Penina Mukabane said the county is determined to reduce cases of malaria drastically before the end of the year.
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"Our strategic collaboration with other stakeholders is to ensure we revolutionise our awareness campaign messages that malaria can be prevented easily," said Mukabane.
This comes after 37 children reportedly died early this year at Kakamega County General Hospital (KCHG) due to malaria.
"We want to encourage everyone to embrace preventive measure through draining stagnant water, slashing over grown grass in their compounds to avert mosquito breeding and sleeping under mosquito nets," said Penina.
Penina observed that the programme will mainly target pregnant women and children under ten years of age saying they are most vulnerable to malaria.
"Families with lower income and whose access to health services are mostly hit and that's the reason we want all expectant mother to register for Oparanyacare, Afya ya Mama na Watoto programme for support," said Mukabane.
In addition, Mukabane said the county plans to conduct a massive residual spraying of homesteads a that targets to fumigate over 50, 000 households.
She observed that local's preference and belief in traditional medicine men and herbs over conventional medicine was hampering county's efforts to eradicate malaria disease.
"Our people should also stop seeking treatment from local herbalists and self-declared healers of every problem. It's time we all start seeking treatment from certified health centers. They seek medical help when the situation has only worsened," said Mukabane.
Willis Omoro, Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health coordinator PS Kenya said they have donated mosquito nets in children wards in KCGH.
"We will give each two people in every household a mosquito net. Currently we are gathering statistics and names of families before we embark on giving out the nets," said Omoro.
He added, "I cautioned those who collect these nets to desist from using them for other purposes other than the intended, whoever will be found using the nets as vegetable fences will be prosecuted."