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MISSUE NO. 3616 

April 19 - 24, 2013

 

 Coastweek   Kenya


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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

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Kenya health stake holders call
for joint vector management

Universal coverage, which is defined as one net
for two people in the target population, has
been achieved in 67 percent of the households

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s health stakeholders on Wednesday called for integrated vector management ahead of the World Malaria Day to be celebrated across the world on April 24.

The Kenyan government and the private sector led initiatives have been lined up boost malaria fight including strategic public awareness program sealed between the government and private sector players set to kick off on Thursday.

Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation Head of Division of Malaria Control Dr. David Soti confirmed that Kenya has made positive steps in malaria control with hospital admissions falling by more than half in high-risk districts.

“For children under five, the mortality rates have also fallen by 44 percent based on statistics captured between 1999 and 2006,” Soti said in Nairobi.

Among the key highlights for this year’s World Malaria Day celebrations will be the stepping up of a campaign geared at encouraging the use of Integrated Vector Management solutions such as Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN), Indoor Residual Sprays (IRS) and domestic insecticides such as Mortein DOOM in the fight against malaria particularly in the urban centers and beyond.

Soti disclosed that the country has raised the ownership rate of at least one Insecticide Treated net (ITN) per household; which has grown from 54.4 percent in 2010 to 83.3 percent in 2012.

The ownership of more than one ITN in households, Soti added, has also increased in the targeted endemic Lake region from 25.8 percent in 2010 to 63.8 percent in 2012.

In line with this years’ World Malaria day theme: Invest in the Future: Defeat Malaria, both the private sector players and the government will be joining hands to confirm efforts made to roll back the intensity of Malaria associated deaths.

The ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, Division of Malaria Control and Reckitt Benckiser as well as other partners are set to host a build-up stakeholders’ forum geared at raising awareness on the national Malaria control efforts currently underway.

Reckitt Benckiser Country Manager Richard Pereira expressed regret that, though preventable and curable, Malaria is still a life threatening disease.

According to World Health Organization (WHO) Statistics, Pereira noted that in 2010, malaria caused an estimated 660,000 deaths, mostly among African children.

“The challenge posed by malaria related deaths is a worrisome state of affairs that we are keen to reverse by encouraging several interventions including the use of consumer insecticide sprays such as Mortein DOOM particularly in urban centers alongside insecticide treated nets.”

Universal coverage, which is defined as one net for two people in the target population, has been achieved in 67 percent of the households in the first phase of the mass net distribution covering Nyanza, Western and parts of Rift Valley.

At the same time, Indoor residual spraying for malaria burden reduction in the lake endemic areas was successfully carried out in 2012 with 98 percent of the targeted houses being sprayed and protecting a population of more than 2.4 Million people.

A recently published research paper confirms that living in households with both ITNs and IRS was associated with a significant risk reduction against malaria in medium and high transmission areas.

The report published in the Malaria Journal in February is titled: Nets, spray or both? - The effectiveness of insecticide- treated nets and indoor residual spraying in reducing malaria morbidity and child mortality in sub-Saharan Africa.

The study by researchers Nancy Fullman, Roy Burstein, Stephen S Lim et al. assesses intervention effectiveness experienced by children under the age of five exposed to both insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) and indoor residual spraying (IRS), as compared to each intervention alone, based on nationally representative survey data collected from 17 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

The findings suggest that greater reductions in malaria morbidity and health gains for children may be achieved with ITNs and IRS combined beyond the protection offered by IRS or ITNs alone.

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