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Kyotera District Probes Presumptive Malaria Treatment in Private Clinics

Records indicate that the number of Malaria cases has increased by over 400,000 this year, from 1 million cases recorded by June 2018, to 1.4 million Cases by June 2019. The surge affected at least 65 districts in the areas of West Nile, Acholi, parts of Lango, Busoga, Bunyoro, Karamoja, parts of Buganda, the districts of Amuria, Kumi and Soroti in Teso, and the districts of Kamwenge, Kisoro and Kanungu in Western Uganda.

Audio 3

The Kyotera District Health Department is investigating private health providers to ascertain their compliance with procedures in the treatment of Malaria.  Kyotera is one of the districts that have reported an unprecedented increase in Malaria cases in recent months.

However, Kyotera district Health Officer Dr Edward Muwanga is suspicious about the operations of local private health providers in managing the cases. The concern comes in the wake of reports of an increase in the prevalence of Malaria in several parts of the country.

Records indicate that the number of Malaria cases has increased by over 400,000 this year, from 1 million cases recorded by June 2018, to 1.4 million Cases by June 2019. The surge affected at least 65 districts in the areas of West Nile, Acholi, parts of Lango, Busoga, Bunyoro, Karamoja, parts of Buganda, the districts of Amuria, Kumi and Soroti in Teso, and the districts of Kamwenge, Kisoro and Kanungu in Western Uganda.   

Dr Muwanga says that they have learnt that the levels of adherence to The Revised Malaria Treatment Policy which was adopted by the Ministry of Health in 2011 is still low among private health service providers. The Policy also known as the Test-and-Treat Malaria management approach, set out new guidelines that require health workers to carry out clear diagnoses on all suspected malaria patients before prescribing to them drugs.  

Dr Muwanga explains that reports from their community engagements have pointed out that some private health practitioners are still using the presumption treatment approach of selling drugs to all clients that merely present with malaria-like symptoms without prior confirmation through the requisite tests.  

He says that besides contributing to cases of malarial drug resistance in patients that get inappropriate prescriptions, the approach based on presumptions could also be sending in inaccurate figures to the district records office hence rendering the upsurge somewhat suspicious.  

//Cue in; “initially clinicians…

Cue out…we are engaging them.”//   

Harriet Nakafeero, the Malaria Control Program Focal Person in Kyotera district says that the department has considered sending out teams to monitor all private health services providers on a fact-finding mission and re-mobilize clinicians about the policy requirements.     

//Cue in; “mu facility zaffe….  

Cue out……oyina musujja.’’//  

She adds that they have also learnt that a big number of the insecticide-treated mosquito nets distributed to families in the area, are currently worn-out and are no longer meeting the intended purposes.  

//Cue in; “what would have...

Cue out…what to transmit.”//   

Ruth Nakibuuka, an operator of a private pharmacy in Kyotera Town Council says some of their clients are reluctant to accept testing given its procedure that involves pricking patients.

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