Four out of 10 Sierra Leoneans possess malaria parasite


February 23, 2015 BySahr Morris Jr.

The Ministry of Health and Sanitation has said that four out of every 10 Sierra Leoneans have the malaria parasite in their blood at one time.

According to a piece by Cinnatus Dumbaya, which was published on the ‘World Policy Blog’, the country’snational malaria prevalence rate is 43%, although some districts, including Koinadugu and Kambia, record a rate as high as 60%.
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Recently, the country witnessed a-house-to-house malaria drugs distribution with households given a combination of artesunate and amodiaquine, which has both preventative and curative components.

Head of Surveillance at the National Malaria Control Program in the Ministry of Health, Musa Sillah Kan, told Dumbaya that authorities decided to launch a malaria prophylaxis distribution campaign in order to curb the confusion between Malaria and the Ebola virus in the country.

He said: “We found out that about 85% of cases at the Ebola holding centers turn out to be malaria cases.”

The Information, Education and Communication Officer of Médicins Sans Frontières (MSF), a leading agency that works on the malaria drug mass distribution in western Sierra Leone, Ramieu Gathia, said the programme was successful in cutting the number of suspected Ebola cases as most of the country’s Ebola cases had the malaria parasite.