Kirehe-Statistics from the Ministry of Health show that the Eastern Province has the highest number of malaria cases in the country.
Pregnant women and children under-five are the most affected, largely due to the climate.
This was disclosed Thursday by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Uzziel Ndagijimana, while addressing residents of Kirehe and Ngoma districts.
He said that despite the trend towards realising the health targets in the country’s Vision 2020 being generally good, there was need to put more efforts in some areas.
“Countrywide, malaria prevalence is at 0.7 percent...we are actually heading towards 0 percent. Unfortunately, the Eastern Province is at 48 percent, the highest in the country,” he lamented.
Adeline Manikuzwe, in charge of Monitoring and Evaluation in Kirehe District, said that ignorance and poor perception of prevention measures was the reason behind the high prevalence of the disease.
“Some people don’t use the mosquito nets they were given. Others have not understood the need to keep their home environments, free of mosquito breeding grounds like bushes and stagnant water,” she said.
Manikuzwe noted that similar reasons were frustrating the government’s efforts to embrace family planning, adding that the average number of children in the province is about 6 per family.
Jean Hategikimana, head of Mushikiri Health Centre, however, said that there was hope that the current campaign would bring a change.