CHILLING: Half of people in Nchelenge district have malaria parasites in their bodies

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Scientists have discovered that over 50 percent of people in Nchelenge district in Luapula Province carry malaria parasites.

Tropical Disease Research Centre (TDRC) director Modest Mulenga says a research conducted by the centre revealed that some areas in the country do not respond well to interventions in the prevention of malaria.

Dr Mulenga said malaria parasites in Nchelenge have developed resistance to insecticide and treatment. He said the study has taken more than six years and that recommendations have been forwarded to relevant authorities to change the insecticide used in the area. He said the highest concentration of malaria parasites is in children.

“The question is how we can reduce the burden of malaria in that area; we know the treatment but we are now working on the safest drugs we can use,” he said.

Dr Mulenga said TDRC has recommended the best insecticides that should be used for the parasite and medication to treat malaria in the area. He said the centre is also brainstorming on the kind of research to carry out to help reduce the burden of malaria among the residents. Dr Mulenga said mobile technology has been introduced in the area to detect and report new cases of the ailment.

He said the centre is also working on modalities to introduce other malaria drugs that can help in protecting lives of the residents. And Dr Mulenga has urged members of the public against using medicines that are not recommended by health experts.

“The medicines recommended for use are well-prescribed and well-researched but the drugs from the markets or chemists should be regulated,” he said Dr Mulenga said the centre has evaluated more accurate diagnostic techniques for malaria than the ones that are being used.



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