Kenya accounts for 3% of global malaria cases
Kenya accounts for 3 percent of global malaria cases but the country has made significant progress to curb the disease in the recent past. This is according to RBM Partnership.
There are an estimated 3.5 million new clinical cases and 10,700 deaths each year, and those living in western Kenya have an especially high risk of malaria.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is the Chair of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) acknowledged the gains made in the battle against malaria but said progress need to be accelerated.
“Significant gains have been made in the battle against malaria and progress needs to be accelerated. As we enter the decade to end malaria, I am committed to ensuring that we accelerate progress and end this ancient scourge. I call on the African community and especially the youth to be leaders in health and in the fight against malaria.” Said President Kenyatta.
In October last year, the President launched the national “Zero Malaria Starts with Me” campaign, joining the pan-African movement in strengthening local, national and regional efforts towards Malaria-free Africa.
This followed closely by the President’s administration starting the process of establishing an End Malaria Council and Fund, an innovative resource mobilization mechanism to attract contributions from the private sector.
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He challenged African leaders to join him in establishing at least 15 End Malaria Councils and Funds and committed to engage Africa’s regional economic blocs to address key challenges and provide solutions in the fight against malaria.
Scientists have closed in to finding a vaccine for the disease, and Kenya is among African countries that are taking part in the trials of RTS, S/AS01E vaccine.
Others are Ghana and Malawi. The trial was first rolled out in September 2019 across eight counties of Kisumu, Homa Bay, Migori, Siaya Bungoma, Vihiga, Kakamega, and Busia. These counties have a high prevalence of the disease.
According to local and international reports, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Bharat Biotech (BBIL) and PATH, a non-profit organization have been on the frontline in malaria research through the Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI) – thus a deal between them will pave way for supply of 15 million doses of the vaccine annually.
This is in addition to 10 million doses that are being supplied annually to countries taking part in the trial of the vaccine.
The trial targets 120,000 children below two years who will be vaccinated with four doses of the vaccine. The first set of these children were to receive the last dose end of February 2021, according to the Ministry of Health calendar.
Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects the anopheles’ mosquito which feeds on humans.
People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.