Home News Public Health Ministry aiming for 30% malaria reduction in 2019
When compared to the malaria statistics for 2018, the Public Health Ministry is aiming to lower this number by 30 per cent through its National Malaria Programme (NMP) by improving the distribution network of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies.
This was revealed by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Collette Adams, who stated earlier this week that four strategic regions – Region One (Barima-Waini), Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) and Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) – have the concentrated malaria cases.
“Better quality of living includes protection against vector borne diseases, such as the malaria epidemic in the interior location of Barima-Waini, Cuyuni-Mazaruni and Potaro-Siparuni and Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo… For this year, the NMP aims to reduce malaria cases to approximately 11,000, a 30 per cent reduction over 2018 figures,” said Adams.
Earlier last year, some 92,000 Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLIN) were distributed within these regions to target the at-risk population. Persons were encouraged to seek immediate medical treatment if symptoms of malaria surface.
“The treated LLIN help to prevent the spread of the malaria by the anopheles mosquito. There is significant treatment available for everyone with malaria-like symptoms. I want to encourage [persons] to seek immediate treatment, following the guidelines given by the Ministry,” she said.
The Permanent Secretary mentioned that the Ministry is now catering for Venezuelan refugees. This is primarily done at the border to ensure measles and other diseases are kept at bay.
“The Ministry of Public Health also encourages vaccines, available to cater for high volume of neighbouring Venezuelans seeking assistance in our country. The risk of importing measles is real and to respond to this imminent threat, Guyana’s collaboration with its technical partners PAHO/WHO to increase the vaccination coverage along the border and the most vulnerable groups.”
Last March, Chief Medical Officer Shamdeo Persaud had stated that the inflow of Venezuelan migrants can challenge the healthcare sector.
As a result of these concerns, an action plan was created to boost the immunisation efforts in both adults and children. Adding to that, there are mechanisms in place to cater for calls of additional supplies and human resources.
She further added, “The action plan developed focuses not only on childhood immunisation but across all of the lifestyle cycles, which means protecting the adolescents, young adults and the elderly. Special emphasis was placed on ensuring that all migrants were screened or relevant vaccines were (administered) where evidence was lacking.”
It was announced last year that there was a 58 per cent reduction in malaria cases from 2000 to 2015. The estimated number of malaria deaths was approximately 435,000 in 2017.