Kenya ramps up efforts to eliminate malaria
Kenya has intensified a campaign toward the elimination of the malaria epidemic by the year 2030.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said that over the last decade, Kenya has reduced the burden of malaria by 50 percent from a prevalence rate of 11 percent in 2010 to 6 percent in 2020.
More than 750,000 doses of a vaccine against malaria have been administered so far to children in the Lake Victoria basin malaria-endemic regions, he said, adding that 275,000 children in Kenya have received at least one out of the four scheduled doses of the vaccine.
Over 45,000 children have received their full course of four doses of the vaccine, Kagwe said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has approved the widespread use of the malaria vaccine among children in sub-Saharan Africa and other regions with moderate to high malaria transmission, he said.
More sub-counties within the lake endemic region will now be able to vaccinate children with the vaccine starting in June, Kagwe said.
He noted that Kenya, in collaboration with partners, has registered over 14 million malaria diagnostic tests conducted and 5 million cases of malaria treated; 324,000 pregnant women living in malaria-endemic areas of the lake and coast-endemic counties received intermittent preventive treatment for malaria during pregnancy.
Last year, the Kenyan government launched a mass net distribution campaign in 27 counties with the highest burden of malaria, and gave out 16 million “long-lasting treated nets” to households in May-December, Kagwe said.
Malaria remains a major cause of sickness and death in Kenya and is the second leading cause of hospital outpatient visits, after diseases of the respiratory system.