Expectant mothers among most affected with malaria in Kilifi

The female Anopheles mosquito that causes Malaria. Pregnant women are among the most affetcted with malaria./COURTESY

Pregnant women in Ganze, Kaloleni and Kilifi South are among the most affected people with malaria infections in Kilifi county.

In a statement sent to newsroom, Kilifi county head of infectious diseases department Dr. Ummi Buno, has however assured the residents that the government through ministry of health has put measures to contain the situation in the area.

The doctor further said that health officers are deployed in different areas of Kilifi county, to educate the residents on how to protect themselves from being infected with malaria while distributing mosquito nets for free.

According to a research done by BMC Medicine, immunity to clinical malaria is acquired following repeated exposure to malaria parasites. In high transmission areas, significant clinical malaria is rare after five years of age, owing to the acquisition of immunity in early childhood. By contrast, in low transmission areas, clinical malaria occurs among older children.

During the time periods 1989–2003, 2004–2008, and 2009–2016, Kilifi County Hospital admitted averages of 657, 310, and 174 cases of severe malaria per year including averages of 48, 14, and 12 malaria-associated deaths per year, respectively.

The ratio of children with cerebral malaria to severe anemia rose from 1:2 before 2004 to 3:2 after 2009. Hyperparasitaemia was a risk factor for death after 2009 but not in earlier time periods.