For 3 weeks over Christmas and New Year, four North Fly Health Services Development Program (NFHSDP) and CMCA Middle and South Fly Health Program (CMSFHP) staff supported the outpatient department and obstetrics and gynaecology ward at Kiunga Hospital due to staff shortages at this time.
Kiunga Hospital Senior Health Extension Officer, Mark Gena, was grateful for the support provided, and was happy to see the Program staff maintain high standard of cleanliness and infection control in clinical areas.
“The (NFHSDP and CMSFHP) staff members did not only see patients, but the areas were cleared before and after work. Health education was given and mosquito nets were provided to families who were coming with malaria,” Gena explained. “As a concerned health worker, the aim is to serve the sick and they are doing their work but I want to say the timing of the assistance at the time of need during the festive period needs to be noted and appreciated greatly.”
Over this period, the number of malaria cases seen in outpatients soared to over 700 cases, with many patients having to return on a daily basis for treatment due to a shortage of Mala-1 at the hospital. In total, 3,507 occasions of service were recorded with many patients expressing their gratitude to Program staff for stepping in and lending support when needed.
Prevention is crucial to reduce the burden of malaria in communities. Some simple measures to prevent malaria include:
- Sleep under an insecticide treated bed net
- Empty any buckets or rain gutters of sitting water on your property and in the village
- Ensure rain water tanks are sealed with a lid
- Install fly screens on the windows of your house
If you develop a fever and are concerned you may have contracted malaria, visit your local health centre.