By ELIZABETH MIAE
WITH the rainy season currently experienced throughout the country, people are at risk of getting malaria if not protected by sleeping under a treated mosquito net.
The rain provides an abundance of water for the mosquitoes to breed in.
There are different types of mosquitoes, those that transmit malaria and those that transmit other diseases such as dengue fever.
“All species of mosquitoes require water to breed,” explains Leo Sora Makita, officer-in-charge of malaria at the National Department of Health.
“Rain is good because it washes away the breeding sites, but after the rain, pools of water remain where the mosquitoes can easily breed.
“This is why when the rains are heavy, there are usually fewer mosquitoes, but after the rains there is an increase in the mosquito population.
“People need to understand this so that they are able to protect themselves against mosquito bites.”He said mosquitoes could be a nuisance or they could carry disease, but whatever the case, people should sleep under a mosquito net to protect themselves against disease and restless sleep.
Malaria is the main cause of deaths and illness in children and adults in tropical countries. It is estimated that over a million people die annually but the mortality has risen recently probably due to the resistance to anti-malarial medicines.
According to statistics provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO) PNG office, a total of 5, 417 reported malaria deaths were recorded from year 2000 to 2008 and 603 reported malaria deaths of children under five years from year 2000 to 2004.
Statistics were not available for 2005 to 2008.