Uhuru calls for intensified fight against malaria in Africa

Uhuru called for collaboration of African countries in the fight against malaria.

In Summary

•On leadership challenges at KEMRI, the President said the Government was keen on reforming the agency, and urged the new management team to ensure it restores KEMRI's global reputation as a world class research institution.

•Uhuru hailed KEMRI for its leading role in the fight against malaria in Kenya, and challenged the research institution to continue innovating technology-driven methods of defeating the vector-borne disease.

President Uhuru Kenyatta where he unveiled the first locally manufactured malaria rapid diagnostics kit developed by the institute.
President Uhuru Kenyatta where he unveiled the first locally manufactured malaria rapid diagnostics kit developed by the institute.
Image: PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta has called for the intensification of the fight against malaria and other diseases ravaging Africa even as the world tackles Covid-19.

The President spoke Thursday at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI)-Wellcome Trust Station in Kilifi County where he unveiled the first locally manufactured malaria rapid diagnostics kit developed by the institute.

"We have a good number of diseases that we still have to overcome and we are here to overcome that. Even as we continue to partner with you (KEMRI) on Covid-19 work, let us not lose focus on the other areas that you have been working very hard on," the President said.

Uhuru hailed KEMRI for its leading role in the fight against malaria in Kenya, and challenged the research institution to continue innovating technology-driven methods of defeating the vector-borne disease.

President Uhuru Kenyatta at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI)-Wellcome Trust Station in Kilifi County
President Uhuru Kenyatta at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI)-Wellcome Trust Station in Kilifi County
Image: PSCU

"We have seen many countries especially Cuba where they have home-grown initiatives in an island that had sanctions and managed to eradicate malaria from the entire island. I believe we can do the same by working with the brains that are in KEMRI and elsewhere," he said.

Uhuru is the current Chairman of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA). He called for collaboration of African countries in the fight against malaria noting that no single country can eradicate the disease on its own.

"We have recognized that it’s not going to be possible to defeat malaria unless we also work together with neighbouring countries because at the end of the day, even if we defeat malaria and it is not defeated in neighbouring countries it will still come back and create future problems," the President noted.

On leadership challenges at KEMRI, the President said the Government was keen on reforming the agency, and urged the new management team to ensure it restores KEMRI's global reputation as a world class research institution.

Separately, the President unveiled the Kenya-Cuba Malaria Vector Control Project, at Mutondia village.

He also officially launched the Kenya Malaria Youth Army and witnessed a demonstration on the use of drones in spraying larvicides on mosquito breeding sites.

The President, who is on the second day of his working tour of Lamu, Kilifi and Mombasa Counties, was accompanied by Health CS Mutahi Kagwe, and was received by several Kilifi and Coast leaders led by host Governor Amason Jeffah Kingi.