Medics Warned Against Treating Patients Without Testing For Malaria

1989 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
Minister Sarah Opendi says that some health workers do it intentionally in order to get rid of the high number of patients who visit health facilities.

Sarah Opendi, the State Minister of Health has warned health workers against treating patients for malaria without first carrying out tests.

Opendi, who is in charge of general duties at the ministry, says that the ministry has received reports of some health workers who administer anti-malaria medicine for every fever even if the cause is not established. Opendi says that some health workers do it intentionally in order to get rid of the high number of patients who visit health facilities.

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Speaking at the World Malaria Day celebrations in Fort Portal on Tuesday, Opendi wondered why despite the presence of microscopes and Malaria Rapid Diagnostic Tests in health facilities, health workers do not carry out tests.  Opendi says that not all fevers treated are malaria.

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Opendi also said that the programme of distributing long lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets to households has started in all districts in the country and will last six months.

Godfrey Magumba, the Executive Director Malaria Consortium says that in a bid to reduce Malaria deaths in the country, the Ministry has started implementing the Malaria Action Programme in endemic districts. He explains that through the programme, health workers will be trained on malaria diagnosis and control.

Magumba also asked health authorities in districts which have a high burden of malaria to promote the use of injectable artesunate instead of quinine as the preferred treatment for malaria by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Uganda ranks sixth among African countries with high malaria-related mortality rates, and has one of the highest reported malaria transmission rates in the world.

The WHO reports that globally malaria is a major cause of ill-health and deaths, with approximately 16 million cases and over 10,500 deaths reported last year.

World Malaria Day was established by WHO Member States as an occasion to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment for malaria prevention and control. This year's theme was "End Malaria for good - Children up against Malaria" 


About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.