Kenya marks malaria day with mass nets distribution

The government has launched a campaign to distribute 15.7 million insecticide-treated mosquito nets in 27 high malaria burden regions, as Kenya joined the world in Marking World Malaria Day Sunday.

According to the Ministry of Health, the 8 billion shilling campaign targeting to benefit 25 million Kenyans will kick off from the 30th of April to 31st July this year.

The ministry says significant efforts towards reducing Malaria infections have been made with Kenya now recording 2.4 percent drop in Malaria prevalence since 2015.

The Lake region which bears the highest disease burden has reduced its prevalence rate from 27% to 19%.

The Coast region has also seen a drop in prevalence rates from 8% to 4.5%.

An analysis of routine data collected from our health facilities shows that since 2016, the number of confirmed malaria cases has reduced from 113 per 1,000 of the population to 86 per 1,000 population.

Similarly, the proportion of patients with malaria seeking out-patient services has reduced from 30% to 19% while in-patient admissions have decreased from 20% to 15%.

To bring the number further down, Dr Aman noted that the government plans to scale up it’s current efforts by introducing new strategies and applying lessons from countries that have recently eliminated malaria like Cuba, Argentina and Algeria.

With the theme of the World Malaria day being ‘Zero Malaria Begins with me -Draw the Line Against Malaria’, sustainable funding continues to be a major threat towards elimination of Malaria.

Kenya has 24 Billion deficit which the government hopes to partner with the private sector to bring the infections to zero by 2030.

Vaccine

Kenya is also on course to administer the fourth dose of the Malaria Vaccine to approximately 200,000 children as it seeks to reduce the prevalence of the disease in Kenya.

Speaking in a press briefing Sunday Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Health Dr Rashid Aman said: “It is only Kenya, Ghana and Malawi on the African continent that have deployed the first ever malaria vaccine,” Dr Rashid Aman, CAS Health.

The country also remains optimistically cautious about the Oxford Malaria vaccine which is in trial stage said to be 77 percent effective.

While significant progress has been made in reducing Malaria prevalence in the World, statistics remain grim as more than half of the World Population remains at risk of being infected.

Currently, Malaria kills 1 child in every 2 minutes, African children being the most affected.

The government of Kenya deployed for piloting a vaccine developed by the GlaxoSmithKline company in 2019 targeting approximately 200,000 children in selected regions.

While it is yet to do the analysis on the efficacy of the vaccine, the children in the pilot project are set to receive the fourth dose to give it an informed position on whether it can be deployed to children across the country.

The Oxford University Researchers in collaboration with Burkina Faso have come up with yet another vaccine that is reported be 77 percent effective, but the government remains optimistically cautious.

  

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