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Sierra Leone News: Malaria continues to plague U-5 children in Tonkolili

Residents of Tonkolili District have expressed concerns over the growing number of reported malaria cases in the district. The Tonkolili District Health Management Team have been working to combat the spread of the disease but have failed miserably. Many households in this part of the country including children under five are vulnerable to malaria.  The Malaria focal person for the Ministry of Health and Sanitation Tonkolili District Health Management Team, James Fornah, said from January to August 2018, some 81,347 children under five were brought to Peripheral Health Units  all over the district. Over 50,319 under five children were tested positive for malaria. According to the World Health Organization, Sierra Leone has one of the highest burdens of malaria in the world. A resident of Magburaka, Mariatu Koroma, took her child to the Magburaka Government Hospital for malaria treatment many times. She knows that keeping the environment dry without standing water is necessary for a community free malaria. Amadu Kamara never took his children to the Hospital for malaria treatment because his entire family uses bed nets. In Tonkolili District there are many organizations that focus on child health.  CORD AID Sierra Leone is leading campaigner of a free malaria. A Representative of CORD AID, Alie Faro, told SLBC that malaria is on the increase in Tonkolili District especially some chiefdoms situated in the Boli land in Kolifa Mabang, yoni and Kefeh Simira chiefdoms. “Our contribution to reducing the spread of malaria is unending. Malaria is one of the health indicators that we analyze every month and every quarter,” said Faro. UNIMAK Public Health Expert, Dr. Salifu Samura, said young children under-five are more vulnerable to malaria and end up dying. He also said the Government of Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation and all partners complementing the Health Ministry should invest more in public education and disease prevention mechanisms. Sierra Leone Malaria Control Strategic Plan (2016-2020) gives direction towards the improvement of the health status of the population and the fight against poverty by reducing the burden of the disease. The plan was developed based on the recommendations of the Malaria Programme review 2013 and is aligned to the guiding principles of the broader National Health Sector Strategic Plan (NHSSP 2010-2015), Sierra Leone Health Recovery Plan 2015–2020.

MKM/4/12/18

By Matthew Kanu in Magburaka

Wednesday December 05, 2018.

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