KENYA – The Kenyan Ministry of Health has called on parents and guardians to vaccinate children aged 6 months old against malaria in nearby health facilities especially residents living in eight counties in the endemic Lake region.
Kenya has adopted the use of the malaria vaccine recommended by the World Health Organization in the Lake region which accounts for 75percent of malaria cases nationally.
In addition, Cuban health experts have been deployed to all the eight Lake endemic counties to work with Kenyan health teams for two years within which they will transfer their skills to the country’s malaria control experts.
The health ministry has also installed preventive measures to combat malaria in the region such as the Kenya-Cuba Malaria Vector Control Project that was launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta in Kilifi County in 2021.
President Uhuru Kenyatta also launched the ‘Zero Malaria starts with me’ campaign in 2020 which is a Pan-African movement to strengthen local, national and regional efforts towards a malaria free Africa.
“Cuba eliminated malaria in 1973 mainly through the vector control of mosquitoes by spraying their breeding sites with larvicides. Larviciding will go a long way in accelerating our efforts towards malaria elimination,” said the Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Health Dr Rashid Aman.
Additionally, Kenya has launched malaria cross-border collaboration initiatives under the Great Lakes Malaria Initiative to increase coordination and engagement of malaria through Regional Economic Communities.
Dr Rashid Aman disclosed that the National Treasury allocated an additional KES800 million (US$6.9M) to the Ministry of Health to boost the fight against malaria.
He added that the national government in partnership with the county government has distributed 16 million insecticidal nets in 2021 targeting vulnerable pregnant women and children.
“Kakamega County is one of the three counties that received and distributed the latest technologically advanced PBO Pyrethroid nets in response to the emerging resistance by mosquitoes to pyrethroid only nets,” he reaffirmed.
Consequently, the Kenya Malaria indicator survey estimated that malaria prevalence had dropped from 38 percent in 2015 to 15.2 percent in 2020 in Kakamega County.
Dr Rashid Aman pleaded with Homa Bay residents to embrace the use of treated mosquito nets to help curb the high rates of malaria infections in the region.
Meanwhile, the Kiambu County Government is supporting capacity building for healthcare workers to equip them with knowledge on malaria case management as well as advocacy at community level on malaria prevention.