By Staff Reporter
ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – Deutsche Welle, Amharic Service reported yesterday quoting the Amhara Public Health Institute (APHI) that the number of people infected with malaria in Amhara Region has doubled compared to the same period last year. The health institute said that the number of people infected with malaria has exceeded 670 thousand. According to the health institute, the fight against the spread of the disease in the region, the lack of medicine and other resources and improper use, and the lack of monitoring and control of the epidemic are the main reasons. It was stated that 15 people have died of malaria over the last six months.
The Public Health Institute of the Region has announced that there has been a significant increase in malaria in the Amhara Region, especially in the western zones of the region. Coordinator of Malaria Programs of the Amhara Public Health Institute, Damte Lanker, who attended a consultation forum organized by the Regional Health Bureau and the Amhara Public Health Institute said that since July 2023, the number of people infected with malaria in the region has increased by 50 percent compared to the same period last year.
In the current Ethiopian Fiscal Year (2016), 671 thousand patients were infected with malaria, which is a 50 percent increase compared to the same period from July to December last year. Out of 671 thousand patients, 15 people died of the epidemic, according to DW
DW quoted APHI as saying that the main reasons for the spread of the disease “are lack of rainfall, failure to control the epidemic, lack of spraying chemicals, utilizing bed nets for other purposes and the security situation in the region”. APHI pointed out that despite attempts made to spray more than 650 Kebeles with anti-mosquito chemicals, the performance is well below half.
“We could not even cover the Kebels that should have been sprayed with anti-malarial chemicals. Although it was planned to spray 651 Kebeles with anti-mosquito chemicals, the performance did not exceed 37 percent,” Coordinator of Malaria Programs of the Amhara Public Health Institute, Damte Lanker, said.
Damte further revealed that the spread of the disease is severe in 30 Woredas in the Western Zones of the Amhara Region. Mainly West and East Gojjam Zones, Awi Administration, Bahir-Dar City Administration, South and North Gondar Zones, Central and West Gondar Zones are among the highest hit areas. These Zones cover 91 percent of the total malaria distribution, according to Damte.
He further said that 30 Weredas located in these Zones have the highest prevalence of malaria, and among them are Bahir-Dar, East and West Denbia, Fogera, Libo-Kemkem and Balessa Weredas.
According to a health professional at South Gondar Zone Health Department said that malaria has run rampant in non-malarial areas. Due to security problems in the area, many health facilities are not functional.
A physician in East Gojjam Zone, Yejube Hospital, Tsehai Sifir told Deutsche Welle that the incidence of malaria has increased significantly. He said that half of the people examined in his hospital are malaria patients.
An expert in the control of malaria and other vector-borne diseases at the West Gojjam Zone Health Office, Hailemariam Tadesse, said that security problem in the areas, lack of budget, and the dysfunctionality of some health institutions, due to security problem, have contributed to the spread of the malaria epidemic.
Head of the Amhara Region Health Bureau, Abdulkerim Mengistu, recalled earlier in relation to the security crisis in the Amhara Region that more than 270 health facilities are out of control and over 10,000 patients who had surgery appointments could not get the treatment.
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