Elvis Okello Romnson, the Bio statistician in the Health Department in Gulu told Uganda Radio Network that the district will in the next two weeks declare an epidemic of Malaria if the current situation remains.
At least 107 people have reportedly died of malaria in Gulu in
nine months amidst stock outs of drugs in various health facilities in the District.
Elvis Okello Romnson, the Bio statistician in the Health
Department in Gulu told Uganda Radio Network on Wednesday that
the District has recorded 9,315 admissions of malaria with 107 deaths from
January 2020 to August.
A total of 52 deaths were recorded in children below five
years of age while 55 occurred in adults according.
Okello revealed that over 800 people have continued to receive
treatment from outpatients department monthly in the various health facilities
which is a growth in the positivity rate of malaria infections from 56.1%
in 2019 to 61.1% currently.
The District has reported variations of the positivity rate
in the rural areas with the most affected Sub Counties being Paibona with
77.5%, Bungatira 76%, Palaro 74.7 and Omel at 74.1%.
The lowest rate of infections in the District was recorded
in Awach Sub County with 26.9% while Bar-Dege in Gulu West Division and Laroo
in the Eastern Division registered 28.3% and 30.8% of the infections in the
Okello further noted that the District will in the next two
weeks declare an epidemic of malaria if the situation continues. “We are next to the upper limit of the upsurge and we must
concentrate effort on interventions if we must avoid that” he told URN.
Cue in……..”Since January we….”
Cue out…..”If it persists………”
At Gulu Regional Referral Hospital, Grace Odwar a single
mother from Pece Vanguard Ward in Gulu East Division is one on the many people
admitted with children with severe complication of malaria in the hospital.
Odwar says, she has spent three days in the hospital with
her 15 year old son buying drugs from the pharmacy for the health workers to
administer to her child. THe drugs have so far cost her 56,000 shillings.
Dr. Janani Luwum, in charge of Public Health
Care Services at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital says the hospital has run out
of drugs with the increasing cases of malaria in the District.
He says many people
have failed to adhere to the basic control of malaria which include clearing of
bushes around homes, removing stagnant water which provide good breeding
ground for mosquitoes.
Cue in…”the infestation of…..”
Cue out…automatically it will…”
Sister Jenifer Amono, in charge
Maternity Ward in Gulu Regional Referral Hospital says malaria accounts for the
highest mortality in premature babies which claims over 20 babies on
“Most the patients come to the facility with severe
complications and we sometimes cannot help to save their lives “Amono added.
Northern Uganda had suffered malaria
outbreaks since 2015 after the discontinuation of indoor residual spraying, and the current upsurge in suspected to be linked to climate variations according to
the 2018 report by Gulu University Public Health Department.