Kenya races to meet Abuja targets

April 22, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 22 – As the fourth annual World Malaria Day approaches, the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation is working on meeting the Abuja Malaria Target of reducing malaria cases by half by the end of the year.

This year’s World Malaria Day, which will be commemorated on April 25, is significant in assessing the progress towards the landmark 2015 goal of malaria death elimination.

In a ceremony on Thursday, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Health Mark Bor celebrated the progress that has been made so far in the fight against malaria, with partners and stakeholders in the effort.

“As we reflect on our achievements in the last ten years, I am happy to note that Kenyans have made significant progress in meeting the 2010 target. I’m also happy to observe that political commitment to malaria control in Kenya and in the region is very high,” said Bor.

In keeping with this year’s World Malaria Day theme, “Achieving Progress and Impact: My Role, My Responsibility,” Mr Bor pledged that the government would continue to remove taxes and tariffs on malaria medicines, provide testing kits, mosquito nets, insecticides and spray equipment to achieve universal coverage in targeted areas.

The Division of Malaria Control reported that malaria prevalence is now below five percent in most parts of Kenya. However, the Division Head, Dr Elizabeth Juma said there is more to be done.

“We have managed to reduce illness and death in most parts of the country, and most significantly in coast province by more than 50 percent. In fact it went up to 60 percent, but that does not mean that where the disease has been reduced we ignore. We want to ensure that in those areas reduction is maintained,” said Dr Juma.

With 25 million of the Kenyan population at risk of malaria, Dr Juma also urged that malaria aid recipients do their part in safeguarding their health.

“The recipients need to play a role. They have a role to make sure they use the nets, access the treatments and use them correctly, make sure that their houses are sprayed whenever spraying is conducted in the regions, and that overall we make sure that our communities are free of mosquito-breeding areas,” she said.

The Ministry of Public Health said it would continue to take preventative measures in the fight against malaria through its national net use campaign, “Mbu Nje Sisi Ndani,” launched in 2009. It plans to distribute 11 million insecticide-treated bed nets (ITN) to 80 endemic districts across Kenya by the end of the campaign.

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