KEMSA has entered the third phase in the mass distribution of the about 10.1 million Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LLINs) to boost malaria control in the country.
The four-phased mass net distribution exercise kicked off last year in March, before slowing down due to the Covid-19 pandemic and then accelerating in June and August in a bid to cover the endemic regions.
Ag Chief Executive Officer Edward Njoroge, KEMSA explained that the third phase involving the distribution of over 1.1 million LLINs commenced in late January 2021 and is expected to be completed in mid-February 2021.
“Our distribution teams are on the ground making sure that all the nets reach the right place, at the right time and in the right quality,” noted Njoroge.
The Ag. CEO pointed out that the third phase will see vulnerable residents in Lamu, Kwale, Mombasa, Kilifi and Tana River receive the nets that will be used in prevention of malaria.
He said under Phase 1, KEMSA distributed about 1,007,760 million LLINs in Kirinyaga, Baringo, Marsabit, Turkana and Vihiga Counties.
“In the second Phase, we issued 3,020,656 nets in the counties of Kisumu, Siaya, Homabay and Migori,” said the CEO.
The Fourth Phase slated to commence in May will target nine counties including; Bomet, Nyamira Kisii, Nandi, Kericho, Uasin Gishu, Taita Taveta, West Pokot, Trans Nzoia.
KEMSA distributed over 600,000 Piperonyl Butoxide (PBO) LLINs procured through Presidential Malaria Initiative (PMI) to Busia county in the month of February and anticipates to commence distribution of over 1,500,000 PBO nets to Kakamega and Bungoma in the month of April 2021.
PMI procured a total 2,793,300 LLINs for the three counties. Routine distribution of PMI nets started in June 2020 and 24 counties have been serviced.
“Despite the infrastructural challenges, especially the rough terrain in some remote regions, we are able to reach the drop off points in good time,” he confirmed.
Njoroge lauded the Global Fund, Division of Malaria Control and National Treasury for playing a pivotal role in availing and mobilising resources to facilitate the mass net distribution in the fight against malaria, which is a major killer in Kenya.
Malaria in Kenya accounts for an estimated 16 percent of outpatient consultations and 75 percent of the population is at risk of the disease.
He asserted that collaboration with all key stakeholders is part of the Government’s strategy to improve health service delivery and places a high priority on malaria prevention and control with eventual malaria elimination listed as one of the strategic objectives of the Kenya Health Policy.
The Government is guided by the Kenya Malaria Strategy (KMS) and its Monitoring and Evaluation Plan 2019–2023, aims to reduce malaria incidence and deaths by at least 75 percent of 2016 levels by 2023.
Njoroge emphasized that the KMS outlines six strategic objectives to be reached by 2023 one of which is to protect 100 percent of people living in malaria risk areas through access to appropriate malaria preventive interventions.
“KEMSA plays a critical role in fulfilling this objective by availing the required Health Products and Technologies and also in ensuring that it utilises is medical logistics capabilities to reach every targeted region in the mass distribution of nets,” he said.