• May 19, 2024
  • Last Update May 19, 2024 2:15 PM
  • Nairobi

The Ministry of Health distributes 15 million nets to help combat Malaria

The Ministry of Health distributes 15 million nets to help combat Malaria


Tuesday, April 23, 2024

KNA by Billy Sabari/ Florence Munyoki

The Government has made significant strides in the fight against malaria, where the prevalence has decreased from about 11 percent in 2010 to six percent in 2020.

Public Health and Professional Standards Principal Secretary (PS), Mary Muthoni Muriuki, said at a glance, it seems that the change is small over a period of ten years, but Malariologists indicate that the change is a significant one.

“This progress demonstrates the effectiveness of multi-sector collaboration between the Ministry of Health, key government departments, all stakeholders and a strong community engagement, within a health system approach that integrates sector wide approach, into our overall health strategy for malaria prevention and elimination,” said Ms Muriuki.

The PS applauded the current efforts, including indoor residential spraying, larval source management, the roll out of malaria vaccine and the ongoing distribution of long lasting insecticidal nets.

“The ongoing cycle of net distribution, also known as the mass net campaign, began last year and we are aiming to complete distribution to all target communities by end of June 2024, aiming over 15 million youths, to have been distributed in the campaign,” said the PS.

Speaking in Nairobi, Tuesday, during the World Malaria Day media briefing, the PS said that these efforts have been through the support from Global Fund and USDAID/PMI, who enabled them to raise slightly above 15 million nets, which fell short of meeting their overall target of 18.6 million nets, needed to cover all the targeted population.

“We therefore make an appeal to more partners and well-wishers, to come forth and help us bridge the gap of about 3.6 million nets,” said Ms. Muriuki.

“In collaboration with other malaria stakeholders we have previously held the World Malaria Day (WMD) celebrations, to share experiences and achievements in malaria prevention and elimination. Over the previous years we have galvanized efforts to fight against malaria in the country.” She stated.

The PS explained that the country has made progress in efforts to end malaria, but constraints in funding remain the biggest challenge.

Ms. Muriuki said that funding for malaria services rely heavily on government and out-of-pocket payments by households. The high expenditure by households is not sustainable and increases their vulnerability to catastrophic health expenditures.

Therefore, Kenya has to invest more local resources on malaria, to shield families from high financial burden and increase sustainability of malaria services in the wake of declining donor support.

“The annual cost of the malaria interventions in 2021 was Sh13 billion, which serves as the baseline measures in the estimation. Due to the expected increase in the population covered, this cost will increase each year. The total increment cost will also increase each year above the total cost recorded in the usual scenario,” said the PS.

Speaking at the event Palladium Project Country Director, Dr. David Khaoya disclosed that the Kenya National Bureau of statistics (KNBS), provided National and County population sizes from the 2019 census, which was used to make population projection.

“Department of National Malaria Program (DNMP), provided costing data for malaria interventions, however, we use dynamic costing model developed by MoH, to adjust the health of diagnosis and case management, to include facility operating cost and indirect personnel,” said Dr. Khaoya.

According to Dr. Khaoya, the primary source of targets used in the costing and impact analysis, was obtained from Kenya National Malaria Plan (2019-23), Ministry of Health, Malaria Indicator Survey Report (division of national malaria programme et, al, 2021), transport cost per patient for malaria- related services, was services was obtained from the time driven activity based costing and management (TDABC/M) study carried out by the ministry of health 2021. Additionally, Miriam Akinyi, from the Malaria Youth Corps, commended the youth for their brilliant minds, the imagined, designed, and established youth in the malaria space.

Being the largest part of the current population, it would have been unjust to still have the youth as minority when it comes to decision making on matters concerning them.

She said that the youth appreciate the opportunities that the government and partners have given them in decision making involving them in various interventions for malaria prevention.

She highlighted that the youth have also touched the soil in various parts of the nation to reach out to their peers, elders and juniors with messages pertaining to malaria prevention, being a creative generation, the youth have manifested various talents to communicate for social behavior change.

The World Malaria Day (WMD), is an international observance commemorated on 25 April.

Each year malaria partners unite around a common theme and slogan with this year’s theme being Health equality, gender and human rights, with the rally slogan “haki na usawa wa afya kwa wote”.

Courtesy; KNA

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