Home Foreign Sierra Leone emergency anti-malaria drive reaches 2.5 million people

Sierra Leone emergency anti-malaria drive reaches 2.5 million people


FREETOWN – Sierra Leone has given anti-malaria drugs to more than 2.5 million people in Ebola-
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affected areas.
Daniel Kertesz, WHO Representative in Sierra Leone, said on Friday in Free Town, that this was [pro_ad_display_adzone id=”10″]significantly to reduce the number of patients with fever that might have been mistaken for Ebola.
“Malaria symptoms fever, headache, aching joints are similar to those of Ebola in its early stages,’’ he said.
“This has resulted in malaria patients going to Ebola treatment centres, putting pressure on health services and exposing themselves to infection,’’ he added.
Kertesz said to reduce malaria transmission and deaths, WHO recommended the mass administration of anti-malarial drugs in Ebola hotspots in the West African country.
“This intervention was done to reduce the number of febrile patients in the community so that people with fever caused by malaria would not be sent to the Ebola holding centers where they would be at risk of contracting Ebola,”, he.
Kertesz said without such pre-emptive action, malaria deaths could potentially double in the country of 5.7 million.
He said Sierra Leone mobilised 8,330 health workers for the door-to-door distribution in eight districts this month through its national malaria control programme and several aid agencies.
Kertesz said people responded positively to the campaign, with numbers of people wishing to receive anti-malarial medicines higher than expected.
He said the WHO data showed that more than 1.7 million people contracted malaria in Sierra Leone last year, resulting in 4,326 deaths. (Reuters/NAN)

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