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In Khost, malaria incidence down by 20pc this year



In Khost, malaria incidence down by 20pc this year

Aug 07, 2017 - 10:34

KHOST CITY (Pajhwok): A 20 percent decline has been recorded in the incidence of malaria this year in southeastern Khost province as a result of increased awareness among the people about preventive measures, public healthinfo-icon officials said on Sunday.

Malaria and Leishmania Diagnosis and Control Centre Director Dr. Gulab Jan Mangal told Pajhwok Afghan News about 5,300 positive cases had been registered with them so far since April this year.

He hoped malaria cases would not exceed 9,000 this year as a total of 11,000 positive cases were recorded last year. “The main reason behind the decrease in the incidence of malaria is increased knowledge of people about prevention.

“We also have distributed mosquito nets to the people. Some other individuals have acquired such nets on their own,” said Mangal, who explained most of malaria cases had been reported from Zazai Maidan, Alisher, and Ismailkhel districts.

“Malaria is usually prevalent in areas where the weather is hot, which provides a good living and reproduction environmentinfo-icon for mosquitoes. The disease also exists in the Matoon area of Khost City, the provincial capital, but the level isn’t that high.”

According to other health officials, tens of thousands of people may contract malaria in Khost annually, because most of patients go to private health centres.

A technologist at a private laboratory in Khost City, Fazal Rahman Jidi, told Pajhwok of all daily visitors, two to three were infected with malaria on average.

A resident of the Shadal area of Spira district, Sardar who had brought her daughter for malaria treatment to a private clinic in Khost City, called the disease a threat to the people of his neighbourhood.

He argued everyone could not afford buying mosquito nets, accusing health officials of negligence in distributing the nets. “We haven’t received anything. Our area is infested with mosquitoes. Everyday malaria-infected people visit doctors.”

The Malaria and Leishmania Diagnosis and Control Center head said about 100,000 mosquito nettings had been distributed to people last year. But given the high population, hundreds of thousands of nets were needed, he acknowledged.

“The population of Khost has soared to nearly 1.5 million, and we have to provide people with 800,000 mosquito nettings every four years. We ask the Ministry of Public Health to assist us in this regard.”

Officials say the centre lacks mosquito nets, electricity and advanced medical equipment for diagnosis and treatment of malaria and leishmania.



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