Ethiopia: Ministry of Health challenges UN report

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According a recent report released by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian affairs (OCHA), a malaria outbreak in many low and midland areas of Ethiopia is growing worse. The Southern Nations Nationalities and People’s Region (SNNPR) of the Ministry of Health insists there is no outbreak at all.

Ahmed Emano, public relations chief of the ministry, has announced that though the current magnitude of the disease is big as compared to the previous years, there is so far no malaria outbreak.

“Malaria is still a big problem for Ethiopia. But, the country has not experienced a malaria outbreak for the past five years,” Ahmed stressed. “We neither have got reports that there is a death situation in the region.”

OCHA’s report outlined that malaria cases build up has been reported in Amhara and SNNP regions. It cited that information received from the Welayita zone health department shows approximately 77,830 clinical cases of malaria have been reported in Boloso Sore, Damot Fulassa and Bolos Bombe woredas over the last four weeks.

“The regional health bureau is trying to address the situation and DDT spraying is underway. UNICEF has also dispatched 4,500 Rapid Diagnosis Test and provided technical assistance to the RHB to support the bureau in controlling the situation,” the report stressed.

The ministry of health reiterated that Ethiopia has managed to reduce the death rate caused by malaria so far by 55 percent. “But we still have the remaining percentage to be dealt with. We are undergoing massive activities to reach a level where malaria becomes no more a health problem,” Ahmed concluded.

Health file  The lack of education and political will, poverty, out-moded traditional beliefs, to mention but a few, have been widely blamed for causing severe and sometimes unwarranted health catastrophies of genocidal proportions on the African continent. Child killer diseases, malaria, tuberculosis, water borne diseases, HIV/AIDS, among other preventable ailments have killed millions in their wake. As rightly said by the former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, on May 13, 2000 "More people (...) died of Aids in the past year (1999-2000, ndlr) in Africa than in all the wars on the continent".
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