Malaria in Adolescent Girls


Simon Mugudde, MAKEXAFRICA – JINJA – Uganda has made great progress in reducing malaria transmission from 42% in 2009 to 9% in 2018. Despite this, in 2021 Uganda had the 3rd highest global burden of malaria cases at 5.1% and the 7th highest level of deaths at 3.2%. It also had the highest proportion of malaria cases in East and Southern Africa of 23 % in 2021. The CDC says that young children and pregnant women are the most vulnerable to malaria because they have not yet developed immunity to malaria, and pregnancy decreases a woman’s immunity. Between 2020 and 2021, the estimated number of malaria cases remained stable at 284 per 1000 of the population at risk, while deaths fell 6.1% from 0.46 to 0.43 per 1000 of the population at risk over the same period. There is stable, perennial malaria transmission in 95% of the country, with Anopheles gambiae s.l. and Anopheles funestus the most common malaria vectors. Plasmodium falciparum accounts for 98% of infections; both P. vivax and P. ovale are rare and do not exceed 2% of malaria cases in the country. Uganda experiences two malaria transmission types: Stable, perennial malaria transmission which exists in 90–95 % of the country, and the low and unstable transmission with potential for epidemics in 5-10% of the country. Transmission peaks are aligned with the two annual rainy seasons, which take place from March to May and from September to November. Although the entire population is at various levels of risk, marginalized populations are confronted with economic, social and contextual challenges and barriers that may limit their access to malaria prevention, treatment and control programs, including children under five years and pregnant women as most vulnerable and under-served populations. Gender-based disparities and social customs have created hurdles for accessing malaria related services. A key example of this is that health seeking decisions are often taken by male family heads of family and this could lead to delays in practicing preventive measures or seeking treatment.


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By Simon Mugudde

SIMON MUGUDDE is a project planning, monitoring, and evaluation consultant and founder of MAKEXAFRICA a Community Development Organisation improving health and well being of adolescent girls and young women in Jinja - Uganda. He has offered consulting services for various organizations, such as CIPESA, Busoga Health Forum, and USAID. Previously, he earned experience designing and implementing research and rural development projects. While at the UN he worked alongside expert researchers participating in large scale projects. He has supervised international interns and volunteers in Uganda, and has presented papers on rural development to local governments, Civil Society, and at international conferences. Simon attended the Queen of Apostles Philosophy Center where he graduated with a bachelor's of Philosophy. He attended Uganda Management Institute (UMI) where he graduated with a Post-Graduate Diploma in Project Planning and Management (PPM), a Post-Graduated Diploma in Project Monitoring and Evaluation (PME), a masters in Monitoring and Evaluation, and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA). His core priority currently is networking with individuals, groups, and institutions to further contribute to healthier lives and wellbeing of adolescent girls and young women in Jinja - Uganda.