, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 6- A new survey by Kenya Malaria Indicator Survey (KMIS) shows that the country has made major strides in the war against malaria.
The prevalence of malaria according to the Survey has dropped from 11 percent in 2010 to eight percent in 2015, gains attributed to high number of Kenyans owning a mosquito net.
Health Principal Secretary Dr Nicholas Muraguri says ownership of nets at household level has improved with 60 pc households having at least one long-lasting insecticidal net as compared to 40 percent in 2010.
On net use, 56 percent of children sleep under the long-lasting insecticidal net compared to 39 percent in 2010 while use by pregnant women improved to 58 percent from 36 percent the same year.
“In households with adequate LLINs the use is 88 percent and this shows that we need to ensure continued availability of nets at household level,” he said.
“Pregnant women in the Lake and Coastal endemic areas are targeted to receive preventive medicines during their pregnancy.”
In the Lake endemic region, the drop is from 38 percent to 24 percent while in the coast there was a slight increment from four percent to 8 percent.
In all other areas, he said the prevalence is below five percent.
“The result of the coastal region is a clear indication that more efforts are required to sustain the fragile gains,” Muraguri said.
“Prevention is a key strategy in malaria control with the objective of universal coverage with preventive measures and 80 percent utilization.”
The survey indicates that 50 percent of pregnant women in these regions received at least 2-doses of preventive medicines.
This is a twofold increment compared to 2010 results and shows that there is need for additional effort to ensure all pregnant women and their unborn children are protected from malaria.
Treatment of malaria in children has also improved, according to the survey.
Four in ten children who had a fever two weeks before the survey had a blood test to check for malaria infection before treatment, as recommended by the Kenya National Malaria Treatments guidelines.
Blood testing for children with fever has more than tripled since 2010.
Among children who had a fever in the two weeks before the survey and who received an anti-malarial, more than 90pc were given the recommended artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), which is the preferred regimen.
KMIS collected data from a nationally representative sample of more than 5,300 women of reproductive ages15 to 49.