Malaria is responsible for about 40% of all hospitalizations of children less than five years old and 34% of all outpatient visits across all ages. There are approximately six million episodes treated annually. Sleeping under treated bed nets is at 56% for children under the age of 5 years and ITN utilization among children tends to decrease with age. Children less than 12 months old are 1.3 times more likely to sleep under an ITN compared with children age 48-59 months (63% and 49% respectively). Children in rural areas are slightly more likely than children in urban areas to use ITNs (56% and 54% , respectively). Utilization of mosquito nets among pregnant women is at 51% and pregnant women in rural areas are more likely to use a net than those from urban areas (47% versus 51% respectively). Among households with at least one ITN 70% of the household members use those nets. Other risk factors for malaria include lack of drainage, rubbish clearing, late treatment-seeking behaviour and inadequate indoor residual house spraying.
Current health promotion emphasis/messaging:
- Prevention of mosquito bites e.g. through sleeping under a net at all times and eliminating the breeding grounds of mosquitoes by keeping surroundings clean and dry
- Early and prompt diagnosis and treatment: going to the health facility within 24 hours of a fever, completing treatment.