On the re-opening of SLPP Office … “We would never encourage violence” John Benjamin...

Sierra Leone News: One year of cleaning – malaria still most common healthcare ailment

Recent statistical evidence reveals that malaria is still the most reported issue in health facilities around the Western Area, even after national Cleaning Day was instituted by the Government in May 2018. This means after one year of national cleaning exercises, the impact is yet to be felt in malaria reduction. According to the rationale, cleaning days had a number of objectives including reducing malaria cases. There is no evidence anywhere that cleaning activities have an effect on malaria cases. But, removing stagnant water from gutters, old tires, buckets, etc. will limit the breeding grounds for malaria and thereby reduce the number of mosquitos in the area. According to health educators and healthcare personnel, poor environmental hygiene and sanitation in communities are contributing factors responsible for breeding grounds for mosquitos, which can carry malaria. At the George Brook Community Health Centre, nurse Bintu Sesay, of the outpatient department, maintained that from May 2018 – April 2019, the number of malaria cases remained very high. In March 2019, there were 347 patients including babies 12-59 months, 5-14 years and those 15-years and above. She was quick to note that there were no reports of malaria for babies 0-28 days. However, the 347 patients recorded in March, dropped to 235 cases in April 2019. Barba Musa is a Community Health Officer. She explained that the reason malaria is still on the high side, even with the national cleaning activities, is because people are reluctant to accept that cleaning is a routine, and if they do not clear blocked or stagnant drainages, mosquitoes will continue to breed and malaria will continue.” Musa noted that vector control is the best practice to keep safe from malaria. Many people, but not enough people, prefer to use the bed nets and occasional pesticide spraying to alleviate mosquitos. Ahmed Sesay is the Public Relations Officer at the Ministry of Finance. He disclosed that since May 2018 to the last national cleaning in May 2019, about Le45 billion was spent through the various Councils. This, he said, included incentives for community people, hiring and fueling of heavy equipment and trucks, for the exercise. Kadiatu Conteh and her two-year old daughter, Princess Conteh, were recently discharged from the Kingharman Road Hospital. Young Princess had been suffering from severe malaria for over a week. Her mother said if not for early intervention she would have lost Princess.


By Ade Campbell

Monday May 13, 2019.

Comments are closed.