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Rooting out malaria death cases in Thulamahashe

0n In November 2019, a 15-year-old boy with malaria symptoms came to the Malaria Community Health Workers residence and asked to get tested. The teenager was tested and the result was positive for malaria and was referred to the nearest health facility for treatment since it was already late.

Rooting out malaria death cases in Thulamahashe

The following day, the Community Health Worker that conducted the test visited the patient’s household to test and conduct health education to the other family members and neighbours. 3 children from neighbours tested positive. Humana People to People’s Professional nurse administered treatment to all 3 children. Upon investigation, the Environmental Health Practitioners discovered a common factor from all the cases; that all positive children were attending the same school in Dumphries B.

An appointment was made with the school principal for further investigation, testing and health promotion. A total of 345 learners were tested with 6 of the learners testing positive. They were referred to Thulamahashe Health Centre for confirmation and treatment. 56 blood smears were collected for further confirmation.

A day later, 2 children from the same household, coming from the same village, presented themselves for testing to the Community health worker and they tested positive. The 2 children were referred to Thulamahashe Health Centre, and later transferred to Mapulaneng Hospital.

The Department of Health spraying team started to prioritize the area after all these cases were reported. Spraying teams from other sectors joined the Dumphries team to accelerate the process and have more coverage. Door to door health promotion was conducted in the area. Disaster Management and Malaria campaigns were also conducted in the area since then we have stationed Community Health Worker in Dumphries, the number of deaths have decreased and refusal rate for testing in the community has decreased. Community members are well informed about the preventative measures and symptoms.