Kiambu County has today joined the world in marking World Malaria Day 2022 as the County celebrates low malaria prevalence of 0.2 percent.
Kiambu County Health Executive Committee Member (CECM) Dr. Joseph Murega said that although Kiambu is a low risk malaria zone, the County health department continued to put into place strategies to fight malaria.
“Some of the strategies we have put into place is provision of treated mosquito nets to pregnant women and children under five years in selected Sub- Counties,” he said.
Other strategies, he explained, were capacity building for healthcare workers to equip them with knowledge on malaria case management as well as advocacy at community level on malaria prevention.
“We also ensure that our facilities are well stocked with malaria fighting commodities and drugs,” he added.
According to the Africa Centre for Disease Control (ACDC), there are an estimated 3.5 million new malaria cases and 10, 700 deaths each year in Kenya.
The country has however made progress in fighting malaria, with data from Kenya Malaria Survey Indicator 2020 showing that the number of cases dropped by 25 percent between 2015 and 2020.
According to KMSI, 65,000 children living in high risk malaria areas in Kenya have been vaccinated with the World Health Organization approved malaria vaccine.
In 2020, President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the ‘Zero Malaria starts with me’ campaign, which is a Pan-African movement to strengthen local, national and regional efforts towards a malaria free Africa.
This campaign was endorsed by African Union Leaders in 2018 and calls for individuals to make personal commitments to step up the fight against malaria. Advocacy in community and individual levels have also helped Kenya in fighting malaria.
This year’s world malaria day has been marked under the theme “Harness innovation to reduce the malaria disease burden and save lives.”
One of the successful innovations is the malaria vaccine which, according to the World Health Organization, has saved over one million children in Africa where malaria is a major threat to children.
World Health Organization Secretary General Dr Tedros Adhanom, in a statement prior to World Malaria Day termed the malaria vaccine as not just a scientific breakthrough, but also a demonstration of power of science and innovation for health.
According to World Malaria report 2020, African region carries a 95 per cent of global malaria burden and 96 per cent of the deaths. Children under five years counted for about 80 per cent of malaria deaths in the region.
By Lucy Mwikali