River Gee County Risks Malaria Outbreak

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The Deputy Director for Community Health Services Division at the Ministry of the Health and Social Welfare, Daniel S.M. Wessih, Jr., has disclosed that about 90 percent of those who received free insecticide mosquito nets in the six statutory districts of River Gee County are not using the nets.

He stated that their action might expose the county to malaria outbreak.

Mr. Wessih said ‘mosquito nets’ used to prevent mosquitoes, especially the female mosquitoes, from biting the body        and causing malaria, have been misused in the county either for fishing purposes, bathing scrub sapoe/siphon, amongst others.

Deputy Director Wessih made the startling revelation over the weekend during the formal Logan Town’s Malaria awareness campaign held at the Logan Town General Market, under the theme ‘Get Tested before Treatment.’

The health and social worker said the threat of a malaria outbreak means there will be death, because malaria kills.

He stated that the information of the malaria statistics is based on reports gathered from the over 90 General Community Health Volunteers, who were assigned in the county during a 10-day ICCM workshop, which ran from the 18th to the 28th of February.

The Integrated Community Case Management (ICCM) workshop that was sponsored by UNICEF, brought together over 90 GCHVs in different locations within the county. Diseases highlighted were diarrhea, ARI (Pneumonia) and malaria.

Deputy Director Wessih stated that according to the GCHVs’ report, the citizens had regretted the misapplication of the mosquito nets, but are appealing for another donation and have agreed of pay L$2,000 for anyone of them who will be caught misapplying or have misapplied the mosquito nets.

He said in order to tackle the scary reports coming from River Gee, they have instructed the GCHVs to be robust about the BCC: meaning, Behavior Change Community.

“There are 250 persons to a GCHV so we have encouraged our volunteers to double their rounds to test especially children and child-bearing girls for malaria, and administer the treatment,” Deputy Director Wessih opined.

Meanwhile, over 600 persons, mainly women and children were reached during formal Logan Town’s Malaria awareness campaign held at the Logan Town General Market, over the weekend, under the theme ‘Get Tested before Treatment.’

The ‘Get Tested before Treatment on Malaria’ official awareness campaign began in Clara Town in December 2013, and was also held in West Point in January this year.

The outreach was merely aimed to clarify that not every fever (illness) is malaria therefore people must and should get tested before taking malaria treatment; and if tested positive, they should only take the new globally confirmed malaria tablets called Artemisinin based Combination Therapy (ACT).

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