MALARIA ERADICATION

Uhuru: Let's not lose momentum in fight against malaria

President says Covid-19 had overshadowed efforts in fighting malaria.

In Summary

• Uhuru said it was unfortunate that the Covid-19 pandemic had overshadowed all efforts that had gone into fighting malaria.

• The Head of State noted that ALMA has also created End Malaria Councils and Funds to boost high-level, multi-sectoral engagement and involve advocacy at all levels of governance, and also launched the ALMA ‘Youth Army’.

President Uhuru Kenyatta during a virtual address to the End Malaria Council (EMC) at State House Nairobi on Monday, September 27, 2021.
President Uhuru Kenyatta during a virtual address to the End Malaria Council (EMC) at State House Nairobi on Monday, September 27, 2021.
Image: PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta has called on the global community to remain focused on the fight against malaria, despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking to the End Malaria Council (EMC) in a virtual address on Monday, Uhuru said it was unfortunate that the Covid-19 pandemic had overshadowed all efforts that had gone into fighting malaria.

“As a result, we have tended to forget that pandemics such as malaria are the greatest killers today in the African continent than Covid is," he said.

“The fight against malaria, the fight against TB and the fight against HIV/AIDs – these are all critical fights that will ensure that we are better placed not only to fight the current pandemics but also help us prepare against future pandemics.”

The EMC is a group of global public sector and business leaders who seek to drive progress towards ending malaria by ensuring the eradication of the disease remains high on the global and regional agenda with strong political, financial and technological commitment from leaders at all levels.

Uhuru who is the current Chairman of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance emphasised the need to focus on the alliance's four-point agenda, top among them being enhancing digitalisation and use of real-time data including sharing country malaria scorecards which can also be used to support the fight against the current and future pandemics.

During the meeting, he noted that ALMA has engaged Regional Economic Communities at the Heads of State and Government levels to address key challenges and provide solutions in the fight against malaria.

President Uhuru Kenyatta during a virtual address to the End Malaria Council (EMC) at State House Nairobi on Monday, September 27, 2021.
President Uhuru Kenyatta during a virtual address to the End Malaria Council (EMC) at State House Nairobi on Monday, September 27, 2021.
Image: PSCU

“We are asking them to include and mainstream malaria into the regular agenda of the individual RECs, because you cannot combat this disease in one country and forget that through our porous borders the problem is never contained within one country,” Uhuru said.

The Head of State noted that ALMA has also created End Malaria Councils and Funds to boost high-level, multi-sectoral engagement and involve advocacy at all levels of governance, and also launched the ALMA ‘Youth Army’.

He added that Kenya had engaged youth through the ‘kazi mtaani’ program that has enabled them to clean their neighbourhoods and helped in the reduction of water and vector-borne diseases, including malaria, in communities.

The meeting was attended by EMC global members including; former Presidents Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Liberia), Jakaya Kikwete (Tanzania), Bill Gates, Dangote Group CEO Aliko Dangote and WHO Ambassador for Global Strategy and Health Financing Ray Chambers, who acknowledged the progress of Uhuru's ALMA agenda in the fight against malaria.

Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe and ALMA Senior Advisor Dr Willis Akhwale also attended the virtual meeting, among others.

Edited by D Tarus