COVID-19 blamed for derailing war against Malaria
Annually, about five million individuals are treated for malaria each year in Kenya.Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153 The number of patients being treated for Malaria has drastically reduced since COVID-19 pandemic struck in the country.Also Read KNCCI training to help special group SMEs cope during COVID-19Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman has warned that failure to seek medical attention could lead to severe malaria which can lead to death.“Medical research experts have attributed this drastic drop to the fact that, majority of the those who develop malaria symptoms have been self-medicating themselves, by purchasing drugs from chemists,” said Dr Aman.Adding that: “The other reasons could be fear of being tested for COVID-19 or fear of contracting COVID-19 when visiting our health facilities.”Aman noted that these reasons were very misinformed notions, because regrettably, the majority of those with Malaria who fail to seek proper medication in good time while it is mild, end up doing so when they have severe malaria.Also Read COVID-19: Kenya records 139 new cases, 198 recoveries and 9 fatalities“This could complicate their health status, as it is likely that some may lose their lives, if they do not get the proper medical attention,” said Dr Aman.Severe malaria is caused by delayed diagnosis of Malaria, seeking treatment late, wrong treatment of mild malaria as well as resistance to the first line of antimalarial drugs.At the same time the government through the Ministry of Health received a donation of antimalarial drug from FOSUN PHARMA of China.While receiving the donation, CAS Aman noted that, FOSUN PHARMA is a World Health Organization (WHO) qualified manufacturer who meets high standards of manufacturing and quality set.He said that the drug that was donated is Artesunate injection 60 mg for treatment of severe Malaria, a life threatening condition.Also Read 152 more test positive as Kenya’s COVID-19 cases hit 36,981The donation consists of 400,000 vials of the injectable drug valued at about KES 73 million.CAS, Dr. Rashid. The donation consists of 400,000 vials of the injectable drug. This quantity of drug can treat about 70,000 patients with severe [email protected] #Covid19Update pic.twitter.com/bTMXlmjAby— Ministry of Health (@MOH_Kenya) August 25, 2020“This quantity of drug can treat about 70,000 patients with severe malaria,” said Dr Aman.In 2019, the country reported 250,000 cases of severe malaria cases treated with artesunate in the public sector with 75% of these being children under the age of 15 years. Kenyans have been urged to stop self-medicating and seek treatment from health facilities whenever one experiences Malaria like symptoms which are similar to those of COVID-19.Malaria symptoms which include fever, weak joints, lack of appetite are similar to the symptoms of coronavirus.Health facilities have been treating about 300,000 people for malaria every week, but since COVID-19 pandemic struck Kenya in March, that number has reduced to about 100,000 people being treated weekly.