PAKWACH. The persistent prevalence of malaria infections in Pakwach health centre IV among expectant mothers has been attributed to non-adherence to completion of Malaria drugs, a senior health official has said.

Ms Sophie Ngamita, a senior nursing officer at Pakwach health IV in an interview with West Nile Web on Friday said the health centre is overwhelmed with increased cases of Malaria infection in pregnant women.

She said in the month of July, 86 cases were registered in women on the first antenatal visit at the health facility.

Ngamita added that interventions including the use of insecticides treated mosquito nets and giving of fancida malaria drugs have been shunned by a section of pregnant women.

"Whenever they are given the drugs, they abandon it under their pillows, this is a mindset we need to change", she said.

Ms Sophie Ngamita 17 08 19Ms Sophie Ngamita a senior nursing officer at Pakwach health centre speaks during the interview. PHOTO BY GEOFREY ACHORA.

As a result, the mandatory taking of Malaria fancida has been initiated to prevent the mothers from abandoning the drugs before completion.

Malaria infection has adverse effects on mothers during pregnancy which may also affect the fetus leading to cause of maternal anaemia, fetal loss, stillbirth and intrauterine growth retardation.

Ms Florence Owechi, an expectant mother attributed the mother's decline to malaria drug adherence to the neglect of the husbands in taking responsibility during pregnancies.

"The drug is bitter and we are advised to take plenty of juice and all this require assistance and worst of all the men mostly do not turn up to get this information", she narrated.

Ms Benjamin Wanichan, the health centre in charge said although no case of birth-related malaria has been recorded, they intend to advocate for compulsory usage of intermittent preventive treatment (IPT) to all pregnant women without testing whether or not they are infected with malaria parasites.

She said this will be given at each routine antenatal care visit starting as early as the second trimester.

Pakwach district is among the districts with high prevalence rates of Malaria in Uganda due to it's proximity to the Albert Nile with the majority of its natives deriving their livelihoods from the Nile through fishing, a breeding space for female anopheles mosquito responsible for transmitting malaria parasites.