No malaria in Nairobi say experts – presentation at ICUH conference, Nairobi
There is no malaria in Nairobi, say experts – City residents may have been taking expensive malaria drugs for years when the disease is negligible, if not non-existent, in Nairobi.
Research carried out in 2008 by reputable organisations indicates there is no malaria in the city. The firms that conducted the study include the Kenya Medical Research Institute, the UK’s Oxford and Southampton universities, London School of Tropical Medicine and the African Population and Health Research Centre in Nairobi.
Despite evidence that there could be no malaria in Nairobi, patients especially children with fever were treated for the disease and with the wrong drugs in most instances, says the study, which was prepared for an international conference on health.
Some 983 people in Korogocho, Nairobi were tested and only three indicated they could be having the parasite. Further testing, however, found them to be negative.
“Microscopic examination showed zero prevalence,” says the study titled Malaria Infection in an Urban Informal Settlement in Nairobi: A myth or reality.
Of the group, 170 had run a fever in the last 14 days with more than half being treated for malaria with drugs that are not recommended by the government.
“Only four cases were treated using the recommended first-line treatment,” says the study. The findings contradict the perception of a rising incidence of malaria in Nairobi attributed to warm climate that is more habitable for mosquitoes that carry the disease.
If the findings are validated, malaria may be one problem less to worry about for people in Nairobi. However a more emerging and potent threat will be outlined at the conference on Thursday.
Mr J. O. Ogendo of Maseno University says the biggest danger to city residents, after muggers and robbers, are road accidents targeting pedestrians and cyclists. The researcher recommends that city planners consider pedestrian-friendly policies for Nairobi.