Every two minutes, Malaria kills a child under the age of 5; courtesy, WHO

This story should begin like this; And then there was progress. And now there is no progress. Confusing right? Well, even WHO is admitting that the fight against Malaria is getting murky.

Yet, since 2,000, the script has been so beautifully crafted, a story so full of hope and promise. That is what we feel about malaria deaths that were averted in regions where the disease is endemic. You see, the investment that went into this fight was immense. The returns? Lives were saved. While other MDG goals might have floundered, malaria targets for 2015 were met. That is a major score.

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Then The Script Begun To Read Like……; “The declining trend in malaria cases and deaths has stalled and even reversed in some regions, at least over the past three years.” According to WHO

What Changed? 

There are a couple of factors that WHO attributes to the current status. The reasons for the downward trend in some countries could be attributed to insufficient funding as well as existing gaps in malaria prevention interventions.

There is also the controversial issue of climate change. Variations in climate in some regions could also be a pointer to the increasing burden of the disease.

Prevention measures, in this case, would include the use of treated mosquito nets. This is the intervention that some people in Baringo are waiting for. The outbreak of malaria in some areas of Baringo left more than 20 people dead. The government promised to reduce the numbers of those affected by distributing treated mosquito nets. A check by Afyawatch revealed that the mosquito nets are yet to be distributed

Between 2014 and 2016, Kenya got 16.9 million treated mosquito nets. This is according to the WHO report. The gaps witnessed in Baringo and Marsabit where there have been incidences of deaths attributed to malaria, should form part of a larger debate on apt interventions as well as address the gaps that exist. It is evident, they form part of the statistics released by WHO indicating that 46% of people at risk in Sub-saharan Africa do not have access to insecticide-treated bednets.

Individual countries in malaria-endemic regions should be in a position to support fully intervention initiatives.

Lest We Forget ; Malaria kills

Every two minutes, malaria kills a child under the age of 5.

 

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