Addis Ababa – Thirty seven people have died and more than 131, 000 have been infected with malaria in the past three months, Abera said, the deputy head of the Oromia Health Bureau, Abera Botore said. The number of malaria cases in the Oromia Region, which has been in decline for years, has increased since January 2022 and is expanding to various zones, districts and cities of the region, according to Abera.
“Malaria has erupted in 12 zones and 168 districts of Oromia region. About 629,000 people with symptoms were tested in the past three months, of whom 131,511 (21%) were tested positive. Compared to the first quarter of last year, at which the number of cases were less than 45,000 in the same month, the number of cases increased rapidly. In our region, 37 people have died of malaria in the last three months,” he said.
Inadequate preparation of government bodies and health sector for the prevention of malaria following very low number of cases in recent years, public negligence and lack of sanitation in urban areas, lack of proper maintenance of wells and excavations for various development works and water accumulation, movement from one place to another due to famine are some of the factors increasing the spread of malaria, according to Oromia Health Bureau.
“Around Matehara area, an unprecedented outbreak of drug-resistant mosquitoes has emerged. In addition, the anti-malarial chemicals that were previously sprayed from house to house are not available as required,” Abera said.
Abera said that the bureau is currently focusing on the outbreak of malaria. “Our health professionals at health centers are going down to the community and testing everyone who shows fever. During these three months, those 629,000 people came to the health center and were tested. Now, however, health professionals examine and treat them there, and if they are overwhelmed, they send them to the health centers for special treatment. Medicine supplies are also being delivered.”
In addition, he said that the Oromia Health Bureau is currently working with the Ministry of Health and other organizations to prevent the transmission of the disease. AS
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