Dr. Dorothy Ashu, permanent secretary of the National Malaria Control Programme, NMCP, has revealed that malaria kills at least 4,000 people each year in Cameroon.
Dr. Ashu made the revelation over the national broadcaster CRTV on April 25 during the commemoration of world malaria day in yaounde.
She stated that according to data gathered from across the country, at least 2 million cases of patients suffering from malaria are recorded in health facilities and out of that figure; at least 4,000 people are killed by the disease. Ashu added that the figure is likely to be higher because there are many other cases that are not taken to the health units. She said as of 2011, the prevalence rate of malaria in Cameroon was 33.3 percent while morbidity and mortality stood at 30 percent.
Dr. Ashu noted that the consequences of malaria are enormous on the patients, households and the national economy. The disease results to loss of weight, severe anaemia, convulsive crisis, abortion, etc. She said the socio-economic consequences include poor performances in school, absenteeism at work, drop in productivity, different psycho-emotional crisis, increased poverty considering that it takes 40 percent of household health expenditure.
The medic cautioned Cameroonians that not all fevers are synonymous to malaria reason why tests must be conducted to ascertain that somebody is suffering from the disease before treatment is engaged.
Describing the female anopheles mosquito that spreads malaria as the enemy, Ashu said prevention remains the main strategy of malaria control. She reiterated that sleeping under the long lasting treated mosquito net is the most effective tool used across the world to control malaria.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization, WHO, has said that deaths from malaria are unacceptable because the disease is preventable and treatable.
Pedro Alonso WHO’s Global Malaria Programme director use this year’s world malaria day to urge countries and partners to accelerate the pace of action, especially in low-income countries with a high malaria burden. According to the World Malaria Report 2016, the rate of new malaria cases fell by 21% globally between 2010 and 2015. Malaria death rates fell by 29% in the same 5-year period. In sub-Saharan Africa, case incidence and death rates fell by 21% and 31%, respectively.
WHO said future progress in the fight to prevent malaria will likely be shaped by technological advances and innovations in new tools, including new vector control interventions, and possibly a vaccine.