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Guyana launches programme to tackle malaria


Guyana launches programme to tackle malaria
Most cases of malaria are from the hinterland regions, which make up 94 per cent of the cases in Guyana. (GP)

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Georgetown – The Guyana government has launched a campaign aimed at reducing the incidence of malaria transmission by 2025, following a recorded 46 per cent increase in cases over the last five years.

“We have started training, and we will [be] intensify this training for persons in the community who would help us with rolling out [the] Malaria Education Programme in Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine. So, we have started training for 120 persons in these different regions,” said minister of Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony.

He said most cases of malaria are from the hinterland regions, which make up 94 per cent of the cases in Guyana and although treatment is among the Ministry’s priorities, it is focusing on prevention.

“There are a number of programmes that we are going to set up in terms of how we are going to reduce the malaria in Guyana. Some of it would have to do with managing the vector that is the mosquito, making sure that we can reduce the mosquito population.

“Then you have strategies that would help to prevent people from being bitten by a mosquito. And you have strategies of course when people get infected with malaria, that we’re able to treat them appropriately so that we can prevent them from dying from malaria,” he said.

The ministry said it has already obtained 95 000 insecticide-treated bed nets for distribution to residents in Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine.

“From May to maybe June, we would start rolling out bed nets . . . . These insecticides would be on these nets. They can last for as long as three years. (If)  you’re living in one of these areas where there’s a lot of malaria and mosquitoes, and you use these bed nets when the mosquito lights on the net, it will come in contact with the insecticide and die. So that’s the strategy that is being used,” Dr Anthony said.

Anthony said they would also source and distribute nets to be fitted on hammocks.

Malaria is spread when a person gets being bitten by an infective female Anopheles mosquito. Only Anopheles mosquitoes can transmit malaria and they must have been infected through a previous blood meal taken from an infected person.

Symptoms of malaria include fever and flu-like illness, including shaking chills, headache, muscle aches, and tiredness. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea may also occur. Malaria may cause anaemia and jaundice (yellow colouring of the skin and eyes) because of the loss of red blood cells. (CMC)