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Mandatory Malaria Test Saves Over 50 P7 Candidates in Kitgum

Felix Obedi, a teacher at Pandwong Primary school, says the campaign has helped them to detect some candidates who would have missed their examinations due to malaria. He explained that some years back, some candidates from their school missed PLE since no measures had been taken ensure they are tested and treated in preparation for the exams.
Pandwong Primary Seven Pupils undergo malaria test at Pandwong Health Center II this morning. Photo By Julius Ocungi

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Fifty one Primary seven candidates of Pandwong Primary School in Pandwong Division in Kitgum Municipality are on malaria treatment after being subjected to mandatory testing.  

They are part of 148 Primary seven candidates from the school who were tested for malaria at Pandwong Health Center II on Friday morning ahead of their Primary Leaving Examinations-PLE on Monday and Tuesday.  

Early this month, the Kitgum district health and education departments launched a mandatory mass malaria testing and treat campaign for primary seven candidates. 

Felix Obedi, a teacher at Pandwong Primary school, says the campaign has helped them to detect some candidates who would have missed their examinations due to malaria. 

He explained that some years back, some candidates from their school missed PLE since no measures had been taken ensure they are tested and treated in preparation for the exams. 

Obedi says those who tested positive were immediately enrolled on coartem, an anti-malarial treatment to prevent chances of the parasite weakening the pupils. 

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Obedi believes that the candidates will perform much better this time unlike in the past. The Kitgum Municipal Education Officer, Harriet Atim Okot told URN in an interview that 70 percent of pupils in candidate classes have tested positive to malaria in the ongoing mass malaria test and treat campaign. 

 

She says the campaign will help limit cases of pupils missing out examinations and consequently poor examination results due to sickness. Kitgum district has had poor performances of candidates in PLE in the past.  Officials blame the problem on many factors among them poor attitude of parents towards education, poor learning environment and sicknesses. 

For instance, only 153 pupils out of the 1,600 candidates presented last year passed in first grade. A total of 919 pupils will sit this year’s PLE in Kitgum Municipality and some 2,236 are registered at the district.