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With 400,000 deaths a year and recent progress in the fight against the disease having stalled, the WHO has warned much more has to be done to combat malaria

World

Amref calls for a community-based approach in the war against Malaria

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 25- Amref Health Africa has urged the government to increase the overall investment in malaria control activities across the country, with focus to the community level.

In a statement, the organization said evidence across the world point to the fact that most health issues can adequately be addressed at the community level.

The World marked Malaria Day on Sunday, with statistics showing that the disease is responsible for 20,000 deaths in the country every year and 400,000 across the world.

“The work of community health workers has greatly contributed to the reduction of the workload at the health facilities by between 30-40 per cent. Their work has also increased access to and reduced costs of malaria diagnosis and treatment at the household level. In Kisii County, which is one of the epidemic counties, the 680 community health workers supported by the project have contributed to the monitoring of outbreaks of malaria,” Amref Africa said in a statement.

Amref Health Africa says there is need for prioritization of community-based interventions incorporating community health workers and working with local health structures to fight the menace.

The country’s malaria prevalence stands at 5.6 percent according to the Kenya’s Indicator Survey 2020, with the Lake Region with the highest disease burden at 19 percent prevalence rate.

“These remarkable achievements are attributed to effective partnerships between my ministry, county goverments, Global Fund, US Presidents Malaria Initiative, Amref Health Africa among others,” Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman said on Sunday.

He however, warned that “as we celebrate the gains, we must not lose sight of the ball in our concerte4d efforts to defeat this disease once and for all. We plan to scale up our current efforts, introduce new strategies and apply lessons from countries that have recently eliminated malaria like Cuba, Argentina and Algeria.”

Kenya has launched a campaign to distribute 15.7 million insecticide-treated mosquito nets in 27 high malaria burden regions. Some 25 million Kenyans are targeted in the campaign that will see Sh8 billion spent.

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At the global level, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged counties to work towards achieving the ambitious zero malaria target.

In Kenya, malaria accounts for about 18 percent of outpatient consultations and 5 percent of hospital admissions.

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