President says Africa has made progress in combating malaria
President Uhuru Kenyatta said yesterday that Africa had made significant progress in the war against malaria in the last two years, and attributed the success to a four-point programme implemented by the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA).
“When I assumed the chair of ALMA, I came up with a four-point legacy agenda. The four key initiatives included digitisation and scorecard accountability, multi-sectoral advocacy, resource mobilisation, regional coordination and access to life-saving commodities,” the President said.
Uhuru spoke in Ethiopia where he presented last year’s ALMA Malaria Progress Report at the ongoing 35th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union.
President Kenyatta, who decried the sustained high malaria prevalence on the continent, isolated digitisation and accountability and action scorecards; one of his four-point agenda against malaria as an important tool in the campaign against the disease.
He said it was progressive to see African countries embrace the use of digital tools to strengthen evidence-based accountability and action in the fight against malaria.
“ Our countries are implementing national scorecard tools on malaria, reproductive maternal, new born, adolescent and child health; neglected tropical diseases, nutrition and community scorecards,” he said.
He pointed out that in 2021, Kenya launched the ALMA Scorecard Hub to enable countries to share national health outcomes and best practices.
“To date, 13 countries are sharing their scorecards on the hub. I encourage all the remaining countries to utilise this platform,” the President said.
On his second priority area, the multi-sectoral advocacy, action and resource mobilisation, President Kenyatta reported that 23 countries had launched national “Zero Malaria Starts with Me Campaigns” while another 24 had established or were in the process of setting up national end malaria councils and funds.
To boost access to life-saving anti-malaria commodities, he said countries are deploying mosquito nets and insecticides to address the threat of insecticide resistance.
He said last year’s approval of the first malaria vaccine for children under five years by the World Health Organization was a major boost in the war against the disease. Uhuru also spoke about regional coordination of anti-malaria programmes saying, African countries had enhanced cross-border collaboration.
“We are not on track to eliminate malaria by 2030 unless far-reaching strategies are adopted and executed to the later,” President Kenyatta said.