Kenya winning war against malaria – Report

Millions of children's lives saved as malaria deaths plunge -UN

Kenya is making progress in the war against Malaria, according to the 2015 Kenya Malaria Indicator Survey that was released on Tuesday by the Ministry of Health.

Speaking while releasing the report, Health Principle Secretary Dr Nicholas Muraguri said the improvement witnessed was a result of the adoption of the use of mosquito nets and availability of treatment for more malaria patients.

Acting director of medical services, Mr Jack Kioko, noted that prevention of Malaria is a key strategy, adding that the number of households with mosquito nets have increased by about 20 percent.

“The prevalence of malaria has dropped from 11 percent in 2010 to 8 percent in 2015. Prevention is a key strategy in malaria control,” he said.

“Ownership of nets at household level has improved with more than half of Kenyan households having at least one long-lasting insecticidal net (LLIN) as compared to 40 percent in 2010,” said Mr Kioko.

Barbara Hughes, a USAID health officer, said that the organisation offers USD35 million in assistance to the fight against malaria every year, adding that the money goes towards procuring long lasting insecticide treated nets, diagnostic kits and conducting surveys.

Mr Kioko explained that the ministry of health targets pregnant women in the coastal and lake regions by supplying them with preventive medicines during pregnancy.

“The survey showed that 50 percent of pregnant women in these regions received the at least two 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,” said kioko.

The survey was designed to provide estimates for the country as a whole, for urban and rural areas separately, and for each of the five malaria epidemiological zones:  highland epidemic; lake endemic; coast endemic; semi-arid, seasonal and low risk.

The survey also revealed that at least 10 percent of children aged 6 months to 14 years were found to have malaria.

Malaria prevalence varies widely throughout Kenya, but is highest at the coast endemic (8 percent) and lake endemic zones (27 percent).

Within the lake endemic zone, malaria prevalence has markedly decreased from 38 percent in 2010 to 27 percent in 2015.

This however has not deterred the struggle in the fight against malaria as the treatment for children has also improved.

Blood testing for children with fever has more than tripled since 2010 and children testing positive for malaria two weeks before the survey received an antimalarial drug, with 90 percent being given the recommended Artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), which is the preferred regimen.

The 2015 the internationally funded KMIS was implemented by the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) of the Ministry of Health in conjunction with the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) between July and August 2015.

The Kenya Malaria Indicator Survey (KMIS) is one of the key performance monitoring tools that are periodically used to provide an in-depth assessment of malaria control over time. This is the third survey undertaken; the previous two were in 2007 and in 2010.

KMIS was undertaken by the National Malaria Control Program of the Ministry of Health in coordination with the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.


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