A new strategy to fight malaria launched

The PS Khadija Kassachoon speeking

Speaking during the launch of a revised Kenya Malaria Strategy and it’s monitoring and evaluation plan at a Nairobi hotel, the health PS Khadija Kassachoon said the government has set aside more resources to send to the Counties health sector to allow them carry out their services efficiently as a preparedness strategy for the expected ELI NINO rains.

She said the government has no intention of returning health services back to the national government.

”This year there are more resources for you in the health sector so that you can do your work properly and the government has no intention of returning health services back to the government.” Said Kassachoon.

Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Health James Macharia said Malaria remains one of the priority public health challenges in Kenya.

In a speech read on his behalf by the PS, Macharia noted that the government was committed to eliminating communicable diseases malaria included, saying that currently the ministry was working closely with its partners to raise the required resources to realize the vision of a Malaria free Kenya, observing that the launch coincides with the recent adoption of the Sustainable Development Global goals (SDGs).

“The seventeen goals provide the platform for global development until the year 2030. Health and wellbeing is goal No. 3 and encompasses the control and elimination of communicable diseases including malaria. This strategy is in line with my ministry’s objectives, the Kenya Health Sector Strategic and Investment plan and the overall national development blueprint, Vision 2030.”  He reiterated.

“As we anticipate to maximize the deployment of the available tools, we as a partnership are excited about the possibility of a new arsenal in the prevention of Malaria through the Malaria vaccine RTS, which we hope to be available in the clinics within the next one to two years.” He said

Furthermore the CS said that the Ministry has developed a national health sector contingency plan to guide the nation in preparing for and responding to the consequences and challenges that may arise in relation to the expected El Nino rains

“With the possibility of El Nino rains in virtually the whole of Kenya, this plan provides a guide on what needs to be done to ensure timely, consistent and coordinated preparedness and response action in the health sector, across the country.” noted Macharia.

While analyzing the overview of the strategy, Dr Erjesa Waqo from the ministry of health said that after the launch, they’ll go countrywide doing regional dissemination of resources to the counties and explain in details what is expected.

In attendance was World Health Organization Representative in Kenya Dr Custodia Mandlhate who said that Malaria was still a major public health problem in the African region and also a significant impediment to socio-economic development.

“It is the leading cause of mortality in Africa especially among children under five. Data from 2013 report, estimated that malaria was responsible for 430,000 deaths among children less than 5 years in Africa,” she noted.

The goal of the Kenya Malaria Strategy (2014-2018) is to reduce morbidity and mortality caused by malaria in the various epidemiological zones by two thirds of the 2007/2008 level by 2017.