The Ministry of Health has urged for increased caution after it emerged that Kenya could be going through the 196th wave of malaria.
Data from the ministry shows that the number of people infected with malaria has tripled in the last week, with various malaria hotspots such as the coast and Western Kenya running out of hospital beds. An unknown number of people are also affected but are on home based care program.
This is the 196th wave of malaria, since the Ministry of Health started keeping records in 1965.
The new wave has proved to be more lethal than the past waves, owing to the fact that climate change has led to general increase in size of the female anopheles mosquitos. This makes it easy for them to carry a heavier parasite load.
While the infections are increasing, Kenyans continue to neglect the use of mosquito nets and even in the cases where the government has issued them for free, they are being used to fence kitchen gardens and to fish in rivers and ponds.
The uptake of malaria vaccine has also remained low, with most people either ignorant of its existence or simply not convinced of the threat that malaria poses. Even front-line health workers have avoided the vaccine, making the few doses that are available unuseful.
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