World Malaria day 2017; Moving toward elimination of malaria

NAIROBI, Kenya, 13 April 2017 – Each year on April 25, Roll Back Malaria (RBM) partner organizations unite around a common World Malaria Day theme. This year, the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership will carry over the same global theme as in 2016, “End malaria for good.”  Within this broad theme, WHO will  shine spotlight on prevention, the cornerstone of malaria control efforts in sub-Saharan Africa.

On the day, Kenya will join the rest of the world to celebrate positive trends in the global response to malaria, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. The event will be held in Narok county, amid revelations by the World Health Organisation (WHO) 2016, World Malaria Report, of a sharp increase in diagnostic testing for children and preventive treatment for pregnant woman over the last 5 years. A greater share of the population at risk of malaria is sleeping under insecticide-treated nets.

The WHO report reveals that less than half (40) of the 91 countries with malaria transmission are on track to achieve these milestones although progress has been slow in countries with a high malaria burden.

The “Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030”, approved by the World Health Assembly in 2015, calls for 40% elimination of local transmission of malaria in at least 10 countries by 2020, compared to 2015 baseline levels.

In 2015, an estimated 43% of people at risk of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa did not have access to Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) or Indoor Residual Spraying, (IRS). Despite recent progress in expanding access to Intermittent Preventive Treatment in Pregnancy (IPTp), intermittent preventive treatment in infants (IPTi) and seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) across the region, the coverage gap still remains high, at 69%.

Prior to the event the Ministry of Health and partners will congregate in Nairobi on 24th April 2017, to review progress and scale up preventive measures, to fight this deadly disease, which still kills one child every two minutes in sub-Saharan Africa.

World Malaria Day is a chance to shine a spotlight on the global effort to control malaria. Ending malaria for good” in the region, and globally, will only be possible through an accelerated scale-up of core, WHO-recommended preventive measures.