Kenya’s war on malaria wins accolade

Kenya’s improvement in malaria surveillance places it at a vantage position to being one of the three pilot countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the World Health Organization expects to eliminate the disease.

The organisation’s global technical strategy for malaria between 2016 and 2030 aims at eliminating the disease in at least 10 countries by 2020.

To qualify, a country needs to have proper surveillance. Malaria killed 20,691 Kenyans in 2015.

According to the report, there was an increase in the number of reported cases, a sign that Kenya was detecting and managing malaria.

There were 7,676,980 reported and confirmed malaria cases in 2015 in public hospitals and 46,019 in private institutions.

At community level, the number was 82,141.

The world body’s representative to Kenya, Dr Ruddy Eggers, told the Nation on Thursday that it was an indication of fruitful strategies put in place by the country in the fight against the killer disease.

“Reporting of cases in previous years was poor compared to 2015 when the study was conducted,” Dr Eggers said.

He clarified that it was not necessarily shocking that more cases were being reported as deaths reduced.

In 2011, malaria claimed about 26,652 lives. The number declined to 20,691 in 2015.

Positive as it may sound, Kenya is the second country in Africa with the highest number of reported malaria deaths after the Democratic Republic of Congo, which registered 39,054 deaths.

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