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More malaria control funds are needed in Kenya

Author:Tony Date:2011-4-21 7:54:23
malaria too magnetic door curtain

Public Health Minister Beth Mugo is requesting for more funding to sustain the fight against malaria.

Mugo says despite health remaining a critical aspect of the economy it receives very little funding which is inadequate to cover competing health priorities including malaria control.

She said currently the government funding stands at 7% of the national budget below the Abuja Heads of State 15% budget funding Declaration of 2000.

Malaria still remains a leading killer disease, with nearly one million people, 85 per cent of them children below five years of age, losing their lives every year.

In a statement read on her behalf by Public Health Permanent Secretary Mark Bor during a Commemoration to mark World Malaria Day in Nairobi Thursday, Mugo said Kenya has made significant progress in meeting 2010 targets of reducing deaths from malaria by 50%.

"One of the key targets was to reduce illness and death due to malaria and am happy to say that we have also managed to reduce by more than 50% illness and death in all provinces except for western and Nyanza" she said.

"This has called for more household interventions which will see more positive results which include surveillance to monitor possible changes in malaria trends" she added.

Treated nets

She said besides the use of insecticide treated nets, the ministry is implementing other integrated vector management approaches to Malaria control which include the Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) in epidemic prone districts.

She said  "we are also strengthening the implementation of intermittent preventive treatment among pregnant women in malaria high burden districts in Nyanza, Western and Coast provinces"

The Minister however said efforts to fight malaria in Nyanza, Coast and Western provinces remain a challenge due to possible changes in Malaria trends where 50% reduction of deaths is yet to be realized.

She said there was an appeal by the government for more nets to feed the gap of the 1miilion nets to attain universal coverage.

She said malaria related interventions like distribution of long lasting insecticide treated nets targeting children less than 5 years and pregnant women last month saw target groups especially from malaria endemic areas benefit.

By end of the campaign 11 million nets will have been distributed to households in 80 Districts across the country. The national launch of this campaign kicked off last month in Koibatek District.

In its efforts to step up malaria interventions in the country the USAID President's Malaria Initiative responding to the appeal contributed an additional 1 million nets towards the campaign.

USAID President's Malaria Initiative Representative Dr Gladys Tete said the American government increased funding from 6 million US Dollars to 40 this year channeled to the free nets campaign and other capacity building malaria interventions.

 "We continue to increase our interventions through funding in order to complement efforts put in place by the government in the fight against malaria," Said Dr Tete.

World Health Organization Country Director Abdullahi Jack said although considerable progress has been made in the fight against malaria much has to be done if the 2015 target to Zero reduction of malaria is to be realized.

"Every minute a child is dying in Africa although we continue to make considerable efforts thus need for future plan to tackle malaria" said Mr Jack.

In 2009 the government in conjunction with the Global Fund and other development partners embarked on an Affordable Medicines Facility for malaria (AMF-m) Initiative enabling Kenyans to get subsidized drugs.

The initiative saw a dramatic drop in prices of recommended drugs from as high as sh.600 to 40 for the adults and between sh.10 and 20 for infants and young children.

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