KAABONG: Kaabong District is experiencing a surge in malaria cases due to the return of rains in the region.
The number of malaria cases has increased rapidly since March and reached its peak in May when the rains gained momentum.
Dr. Sharif Nalibe, the Kaabong District Health Officer, says that most health facilities are struggling to accommodate patients as their numbers exceed the ward capacity.
He says that half of the children under five who come to the clinic for treatment have malaria. Other infections like diarrhoea and anemia, which are caused by a lack of food in the district, are also common.
He was worried about how few people in the community used treated mosquito nets. Instead, he said, people were using them for other things, like keeping chickens in villages.
The acting medical superintendent of Kaabong General Hospital, says that the healthcare system is overwhelmed by the surge in childhood infections.
Dr. Lopoi says that currently, the hospital serves Kotido, Kaabong, and Karenga districts as well as the neighbouring communities from Kenya and South Sudan.
He said that all of the hospital’s wards are full, and that people may have to stay on verandas and under trees in the hospital’s grounds.
The surge in malaria cases has also come with complaints of drug shortages from patients. Lucy Maruk, a resident of Lukumoi village in Lobongia sub-county, said her child was admitted three days ago but never received any treatment.
She told URN that they rarely get treatment from government health facilities and sometimes they are referred to private clinics. She said some people are now resorting to private facilities even when they are quite expensive.