Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Kenya ramps up efforts to eliminate malaria

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Kenya’s Ministry of Health on Wednesday said that it had intensified a campaign toward the elimination of the malaria epidemic by the year 2030.

Mutahi Kagwe, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Health, said that in the last decade, the east African nation had reduced the burden of malaria by 50 per cent from a prevalence rate of 11 per cent in 2010 to 6 per cent in 2020.

He said over 750,000 doses of a vaccine against malaria were administered so far to children in the Lake Victoria basin malaria endemic regions.

He said that 275,000 children in Kenya had received at least one out of the four scheduled doses of the vaccine.

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He added that no fewer than 45,000 children had received their full course of four doses of the vaccine.

Kagwe said the World Health Organisation (WHO) had 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 would now be able to vaccinate children starting in June.

He said Kenya, in collaboration with partners, had registered over 14 million malaria diagnostic tests conducted and five million cases of malaria treated.

According to him, 324,000 pregnant women living in malaria endemic areas of the lake and coast endemic counties received intermittent preventive treatment for malaria during pregnancy.

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In 2021, 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 was the second leading cause of hospital outpatient visits, after diseases of the respiratory system.

Xinhua/NAN

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