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Climate Change Impacts Buea Malaria Trend 

In the Southwest Region of Cameroon, malaria has recorded about 40 percent deaths and more than 593 people have been treated in the last two months, practically straining the capacity of hospitals and clinics in the area. 

Statistics from the Buea Regional Hospital show that the number of people diagnosed with malaria between the months of May and July has increased from about 30 to 80 percent with half of the population being pregnant women and children. The number of confirmed malaria patients diagnosed within the month of May were patients from 0-5 years was 29, and drastically increased to 110 in the month of June. For patients of five years and above the number rose from 98 to 539. Cases diagnosed of confirmed severe malaria in the months of May and June below five years moved from 23 to 63. The number of those above five years increased from 87 to 491.

Some nururses suspect climate change as being responsible for this sharp increase. Others believe that the parasite no longer lives in the blood but on the liver, making early detection difficult. There are different types of malaria like; severe, simple and scanty malaria. Scanty malaria is the most fatal type as its symptoms are hard to differentiate from typhoid. These symptoms include chronic headache, vomiting and weakness, usually misunderstood for typhoid, reasons why doctors are now very keen in diagnosis.

Malaria remains a threatening illness on the population of Buea as half of consultations in hospitals daily are said to be by malaria patients. 

According to Flore Njiki, a nurse at the 7th Day Adventist Health Centre, half of the people that consult daily are diagnosed with malaria. She said that within the month of May, about 100 patients were diagnosed and in June the number increased to136. These patients were treated accordingly. 

Authorities of Solidarity Health Clinic Buea also said that the number of malaria patients greatly increased in the months of May to July; 109 in May to 266 in June. Charlotte Bongfen, a lab technician at the Clinic said there would be an outreach activity whereby agents will be sent into the different neighbourhoods of Buea to find out people who were not privileged to get tents during the last tent share. She advised the general population of Buea to help combat this uprising epidemic by keeping their environments clean and putting up mosquitoes nets if available.

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