Ugandans Stand Warned-Malaria is Still the Leading Killer!

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At least 70 people in Luweero district were killed by Malaria in the 2022/23 financial year, the District Health Report on Mortality and Morbidity has revealed. The report highlights Malaria as the foremost cause of death, claiming the lives of 40 males and 30 females. Among the victims, 24 males and 13 females were under the age of five.

The report also highlighted pneumonia as the second leading cause of death, resulting in 31 fatalities, followed by peptic ulcers causing 28 deaths. An additional 27 individuals lost their lives due to hypertension. Overall, health centres reported a total of 440 deaths from various diseases.

However, the report shows a decline in malaria deaths from 99 recorded in 2021/22 to 70 deaths in 2022/23. At least 13,070 people were admitted with severe malaria in the year under review. Dr. Innocent Nkonwa, the Luweero district health officer explains that although there is a decline in malaria deaths, the disease remains the greatest challenge for the sector and more efforts are needed to eliminate it.

Nkonwa called upon the residents to embrace sleeping under mosquito nets at all times and seek treatment immediately after detecting any signs. He also called upon the National Medical Stores to ensure a timely supply of drugs to enable them to treat patients that are diagnosed with the disease.

Richard Ssimbwa, the LC 3 Chairperson of Luweero sub-county, says that malaria deaths can be prevented if residents are sensitized to stop self-medication and visit health centres in time. Ssimbwa also faulted the National Medical Stores for failing to ensure timely supplies of drugs leaving some patients to die while others resorted to self-medication.

Brenda Nabukenya, the Luweero District Woman Member of Parliament, says that she intends to petition parliament over the failure of NMS to deliver drugs to health centres, which contributed to the deaths of some patients in the year.

“The major problem is the NMS, which has failed to deliver enough medical supplies to enable health workers to save lives. So many of our people are poor and once they find no drugs at government facilities, they return home only to die there. We can’t tolerate that and I will ask Parliament to task NMS to explain the delay,” she said.

According to Luweero district health department, the health centres received medical supplies for four quarters out of six within the financial year. The district is also yet to receive any medical supplies since the 2023/24 financial year began. Recently, Sheila Nduhukire, the Principal Public Relations Officer of National Medical Stores blamed the delays in medical supplies on the late receipt of funds from the Ministry of Finance.

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