KOBOKO. The assistant Koboko District Health Officer (DEO), Ms Rachel Witro has blamed the increasing cases of malaria infection in the district on people’s habit of misusing mosquito nets in the district.
Witro said just like any other district in West Nile, some locals in Koboko use mosquito nets as a fence for their kitchen gardens to guard their vegetable crops against domestic birds and animals.
She noted that as a result, the malaria infection rate in the district has risen to 75 per cent with the leading cases of the infection being registered in Ropoli village in Oraba parish, Kuluba sub-county at 95 per cent.
“This means out of every 10 people in a home who present the signs and symptoms of malaria, at least 9 and a half of them are positive,” Witro said.
“We know that malaria has always been the leading cause of mobility and mortality in our district, but the latest cases have specifically been shocking because the rate has sharply gone to 75 per cent within a short period of time,” she added.
Witro noted that people believe that the mosquito nets distributed by the government of Uganda produce bedbugs, a reason they don’t want to use them.
She, however, advised locals to desist from the perception and instead make use of the free government mosquito nets, arguing that it is due to poor hygiene that bedbugs can breed in homes.
Witro further observed that the index person infected with Malaria, if not treated timely, can also become a spreading agent to other people in a home since one bite by a mosquito is enough to poison and cause another person to develop malaria.
She said poor health-seeking behaviour is another factor that escalates malaria cases in Koboko as people prefer approaching health units when their conditions have worsened.
Ms Witro called upon the community to improve on the usage of mosquito nets at home, treat malaria cases at least within 24 hours, clear bushes around homes and cover up holes containing stagnant water around the compound if the rate of malaria infection in the district is to scale down.
When asked why some people use mosquito nets for fencing their gardens, Ms Amina Ropani, a resident of Yibongo cell in Koboko North Division, Koboko Municipality said the practice is common but in most cases, they prefer using old mosquito nets for that purpose.