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Friday, January 20, 2012

In Rwanda, successfully fighting a resurgence of malaria

News release from UNICEF on situation of Malaria in Rwanda, excerpt :

" NYAMATA, Rwanda, 19 January 2012 : Across Rwanda, children are benefiting from faster malaria diagnosis, the widespread distribution of nets, and the diligence of hospital and health centre staffs determined to keep malaria in check.

These renewed efforts are driven by a recent resurgence in malaria cases, following the country’s drastic reduction in both illness and death rates from malaria.

“In May 2010, we had 32 malaria-related deaths of children under the age of 5 in our district,” said Celestin Nzarerwanimana during an interview in late 2011. He is a community health supervisor at Nyamata Hospital in southern Rwanda.

“This year, in May we had only 17 deaths. Our efforts are working, but we still need to remain vigilant.”

‘Our team is advancing’

The Government of Rwanda is serious about this vigilance, and has procured new equipment to ensure rapid diagnosis and treatment. Among these essential supplies is the rapid malaria test, which makes a diagnosis using blood from a pricked finger.

In addition, community health workers have visited tens of thousands of homes to check whether families were properly using their bed nets. They also provided advice about hygiene, safe water, nutrition and family planning."

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