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With Victor Ochieng 

Siaya County has raised concerns for the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) due to consistently high malaria prevalence, currently at 29% compared to Kenya’s 6%.

During a sensitization meeting, facility in-charges, malaria coordinators, and laboratory technicians were briefed on the importance of validating malaria positivity in the County. Some facilities in the county have reported positivity rates of 60% and 70%, while others have reported 30% and 40%. It is necessary to validate despite Siaya falling in the lake endemic region.

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The validation in Rarieda and Alego Usonga will help Siaya County confirm the true malaria positivity rate in the county and make an informed decision after the results are out in three months.

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The validation exercise will involve collecting blood samples from individuals who present with malaria-like symptoms and testing them using microscopy. The results will then be compared to determine the accuracy.

The validation exercise is part of KEMRI’s efforts to support the Ministry of Health in achieving its goal of eliminating malaria in Kenya by 2030. By accurately determining the malaria prevalence in Siaya County, the Ministry of Health will be able to allocate resources and implement targeted interventions to reduce the burden of the disease in the region.

KEMRI is also working with partners to develop new tools and strategies for malaria control and elimination, including the development of a malaria vaccine. These efforts are critical to achieving the goal of a malaria-free Kenya and improving the health and well-being of all Kenyans.

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