August 21, 2017 (JUBA) - An outbreak of malaria in South Sudan has killed over 4,000 people since February, a senior health official disclosed last week.
“This year’s malaria is the most severe the country has ever seen,” Dr. Isaac Mapeer, the deputy head of Malaria Control Program at South Sudan’s Ministry of Health, told Anadolu Agency on Thursday.
A total of over 900,000 malaria cases had so far been registered, according to Mapeer.
“4,073 deaths were recorded since February, while 2,000 deaths were reported in 2016”, he stressed.
Malaria is described as is a life-threatening mosquito-borne blood disease caused by a Plasmodium parasite, which is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of the Anopheles mosquito. Once an infected mosquito bites a human, the parasites multiply in the host’s liver before infecting and destroying red blood cells.
According to the senior health official, the country’s Epidemic Task Force headed by the Ministry of Health in partnership with United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and other partners has also stepped up efforts to fight the disease.
The health official, however, decried the lack of funds to fight malaria and appealed for donations to help fight the disease.
In July, OCHA said more than 76% of disease-related deaths in South Sudan are from malaria.