Uganda’s malaria surge linked to climate change, says health ministry

Over the last three months, Uganda has faced an unprecedented increase in malaria cases, said Uganda’s Ministry of Health.

Head of Malaria control Program, Jimmy Opigo told Xinhua on Tuesday that between June and August the cases have increased to 1.4 million from 1 million.

Opigo was quoted saying that it is peak season of malaria in Uganda. That is why we are recording more cases compared to other quarters.

However, the June rains seem to have created an even more fertile breeding environment for the mosquitoes that transmit the infectious disease.

The health ministry has attributed the rapid rise partly to climate change, with the disease now appearing in regions that were previously malaria-free thanks to a mild climate.

There has been a 40 percent increase in cases reported in the same period last year, according to a statement by the ministry.

Ministry of Health figures show that malaria is endemic in approximately 95 percent of the country, affecting over 90 percent of the population.

The disease is still the leading cause of death in the country, accounting for over 27 percent deaths, mostly of pregnant women and children under five years of age, according to ministry data.