Kenya Commemorates the First World Malaria Day

Kenya Commemorates the First World Malaria Day

25 April 2008, Kenya -- Agoro Sare High School in Rachuonyo District of Nyanza Province was the venue for the national commemoration of the 1st World Malaria Day whose theme is “Malaria –a disease without borders”. The Minister for Public Health and Sanitation, Hon. Beth Mugo was the Chief Guest. She was accompanied by the Assistant Minister for Medical Services, Hon. Danson Mungatana, and the Permanent Secretary for Public Health and Sanitation, Dr. James Nyikal. 
The Minister flagged off a procession from the hospital to Agoro Sare High School led by the Salvation Army Band. She then toured an exhibition at the venue and inspected a guard of honour. In her address, Hon. Beth Mugo appreciated the support from partners who contributed to the scaling up of interventions for Malaria control in Kenya. These include ITNs distribution, indoor residual spray, and case management using a more effective and fast acting anti-malaria treatment. The Minister officially launched the 2008 Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) campaign targeting to spray over one million houses with an insecticide in 16 malaria epidemic prone districts in the western highlands of Kenya and Rachuonyo District which is endemic. The IRS campaign is part of the government’s disaster and disease prevention strategy.  Assuring Kenyans about the safety of the chemicals used in this exercise, she urged all people living in areas where the activity will be done to support the campaign by allowing the spray teams to enter and spray all living rooms.

Guests and a crowd of approximately 5,000 people were entertained through drama skits, poetry, music and dance depicting messages about malaria control. The Hon. Minister demonstrated IRS on a nearby household and distributed LLNs to mothers and children below five years.

The message of the WHO Regional Director for Africa was delivered by Ms. Joanne Greenfield, Malaria Advisor on behalf of the WHO Representative to Kenya. WHO underscored the importance of strengthening health systems and community-based interventions in order to make greater strides against malaria. Accelerating progress requires vigorous monitoring and evaluation of performance and through analysis and appropriate response to implementation bottlenecks. Hence, there is greater need to be “United to Combat Malaria”. The message also emphasized the importance of ensuring that patients receive timely treatment using life-saving Artemisimin-based Combination Therapies (ACTs).

Other guests who spoke included: Assistant Minister for Medical Services, Hon. Danson Mungatana, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, Dr. James Nyikal, UNICEF Country Representative, Ms. Olivia Yambi, USAID, Head of the Division of Malaria Control, Dr. Willis Akhwale, Nyanza Provincial Medical Officer, Dr. Kioko, Head, Division of Reproductive Health, Dr. Josephine Kibaru who represented the Director of Medical Services, area MPs and local leaders.

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