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Sierra Leone News: 2017 records 22,399 malaria cases and 75 deaths

The World Health Organization, Sierra Leone, has released 2017 health data. The data, which covers all 14 districts disclosed that there were 22,399 confirmed positive malaria cases with 75 related deaths.
“The country reported a cumulative incidence rate for 2017 of 23,259 cases per 100,000 people (compared to 22,937 in week 52 of 2016), with 1,649,644 confirmed cases and 2,257 related deaths. Bo district (34,898/100,000 pop.) reported the highest overall burden of cases followed by Tonkolili (32,296/100,000), Moyamba (29,533/100,000) and Bombali (27,677/100,000),” the report states. Notwithstanding this alarming number of cases, the government of Sierra Leone has partnered with the United States President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), under a $15 million USD health project.
At the launch of the project last year, US Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Maria Brewer, said in order to save lives and reduce the public health burden, the PMI seeks to work with the health ministry, partners and communities to implement evidence-based malaria interventions.
She added malaria is a public health challenge that the Government of Sierra Leone, the U.S. Government, and partners are united in fighting. Over 2 million outpatient visits are due to malaria every year in Sierra Leone, of which about a million patients are children under five years of age.
In May last year, Malaria Programme Manager of Ministry of Health, Dr. Samuel Smith, said that four out of 10 children that visit the medical centres across the country have malaria. Adding that Sierra Leone has one of the highest malaria mortality rates in the world with 156 deaths per 1000 people.
Marking the World Malaria Day on 24 April, WHO called for accelerated scale-up of efforts to prevent malaria and save lives as malaria remains one of the most serious public health threats in Sub-Saharan Africa and in Sierra Leone.
WHO Sierra Leone, Communications Lead, Laura Keenan noted that in 2015, malaria killed over 400,000 people worldwide, with more than 200 million new cases.
Sierra Leone has one of the highest burdens of malaria in the world. Its entire population is at risk of the disease, which remains one of the country’s leading causes of death and illness.
By Ophaniel Gooding
The report can be accessed at http://newsletters.sle.afro.who.int/sierraleonenewsletter/1ea94gvbyrsaa5k73g1e7d?a=6&p=52892272&t=22375105
Wednesday January 31, 2018.

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