ZOMBO. Health workers in Zombo district have expressed worry over the escalating malaria positivity rate which they say has hit epidemic level.

Statistics from the health department indicates that malaria positivity rate in Zombo district stands at 80 per cent while Mundhel health centre II and Jangokoro health centre III recorded the highest positivity rates standing at 100 and 94 per cent respectively.

Zeu health centre III recorded less malaria positivity rate at 57 per cent.

Mr Sam Ajoga, the acting Zombo district health officer (DHO) attributed the high malaria positivity rate to non-compliance to medication, poor health-seeking behaviours, improper or non-usage of the insecticide-treated mosquito nets, bushy and waterlogged environment that become breeding grounds for mosquitoes around homesteads.

He confirmed that the malaria tracking channel clearly shows that the positivity rate of the disease has reached an epidemic level.

Ajoga noted that a section of the population has diverted the use of the insecticide-treated mosquito nets distributed by the government for rearing chicks, making curtains and ropes among others, a factor he says has made the fight against malaria difficult.

"We are going to punish anyone found misusing mosquito nets since the government distributed them to scale down malarial infection in the country," he said.

Ajoga said they have placed another order to the national medical stores to send more consignment of coartem, a medicine used in the treatment of malaria after most health facilities in the district ran short of the drug on account of high consumption rate.

Similarly, Mr Patrick Amiloki, the in charge Jangokoro health centre III said most people in the area rely on self-medication and in the process, they end up under or over dozing themselves.

Amiloki also said the rains that were followed by sunny days gave ample time for the mosquitoes to breed without interruption.

"You know when it rains continuously the breeding cycle of the mosquitoes is interrupted hence limiting their spread. But if the rain stops in between, be sure of having increased malaria cases due to the increased number of mosquitoes", he explained.

Amiloki said most homesteads are bushy and full of containers that facilitate breeding of mosquitoes, an act he said is also increasing new cases of malaria.

The trend of malaria positivity rate in Zombo if not tackled is likely to undermine the national malaria control program that is charged with providing quality assured services for malaria prevention and treatment to all Ugandans.

The program guides malaria control efforts as outlined in the malaria reduction strategic plan 2014-2020.