WORLD MALARIA DAY

War on malaria to get Sh62 billion

Five-year programme will cover eight worst-hit counties, vaccine part of strategy

In Summary

•It will focus on Baringo, Busia, Kisumu, Laikipia, Migori, Nyandarua, Nyeri and Siaya counties

•USAID will contribute Sh2.5 billion, says malaria was once widespread in the US but has been eliminated.

 

Siaya Governor Cornell Rasanga and HEALTH CAS Rashid Amanda in Siaya on Thursday for World Malaria Day.
WAR ON MALARIA: Siaya Governor Cornell Rasanga and HEALTH CAS Rashid Amanda in Siaya on Thursday for World Malaria Day.
Image: LAMECK BARAZA

The government will spend Sh62 billion to fight malaria over five years in the eight worst-affected counties.

They are Baringo, Busia,  Kisumu, Laikipia, Migori, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Siaya.

USAID will add Sh3.5 billion.

 

The sums and strategy were announced on Thursday, World Malaria Day, in Siaya.

Health CS Rashid Amanda said the state initially will focus on eliminating mosquito-breeding areas in water bodies.

Community health workers will provide primary health services to implement the program.

“We have been giving priority to the distribution of nets, spraying and bush-clearing as a strategy to eliminate malaria," Amanda said.

"But going forward we will attack the insects at the larval stage and use the new vaccine.:

The world's first malaria vaccine for small children has been successfully piloted in Malawi. It will also be piloted in Kenya and 
Gana.

It requires four doses and is 4 per cent effective against most cases, 30 per cent against the most severe cases.

Amanda said the malaria vaccine trial had been carried out in Siaya and will be formally launched in two or three months. He said it will help eliminate malaria among children aged five years and below.

It is to be used along with other approaches, including treated bednets and indoor spraying.

He said the goal is to reduce malaria deaths and the spread of malaria from 27 to 6 per cent.

“We will engage in the war against malaria by embracing a multi-sectoral approach and use all means possible," the CAS said.

He said counties should invest heavily in their health departments.

Amanda was accompanied by USAID deputy mission director for East Africa Patrick Wilson. He said the US was committed to helping eradicate malaria and would contribute Sh3.5 billion.

“It’s regrettable that 53 years after Independence 70 per cent of Kenyans are still at risk of contracting malaria,” Wilson said.

He promised that the vision of a malaria-free county is achievable, saying there used to be malaria in the United States but it has been eliminated.

“Even in Washington, DC, areas that were heavily infected by malaria were eradicated within a short time. The US government will not tire to pump resources towards eliminating it in Kenya," Wilson said.

He urged Kenya to measure its successes and problems to see where it can be improved. It must be self-sustaining, he said.

Siaya governor Cornell Rasanga asked the national government to extend residual spraying.

He said some people fail to use of mosquitos to protect themselves and instead use them as fish nets.

(Edited by V. Graham)