Bid push to eradicate malaria
RWANDA has announced major interventions to eradicate new cases of malaria, which is on the increase in the country despite efforts to combat the disease.
Rwandan Minister of Health Dr Diane Gashumba said the country was facing increasing cases of malaria, and the campaign marked renewed efforts to prevent and control the disease.
“We have discussed with partners and different stakeholders different interventions that will be applied towards combating new malaria infections,” she said
“The interventions will include donating treated mosquito nets to people countrywide, extending indoor residual spraying to selected malaria prone districts, educating the population about best practices to prevent malaria, and mass malaria drug inspection.”
Gashumba said the government would examine the standards of other preventative measures like repellents to ensure malaria was significantly controlled. She called on the communities to allow those tasked with spraying houses with insecticides to be given access.
Malaria cases in Rwanda increased from 514 173 in 2014 to nearly 2 million last year. However, deaths from the disease decreased from 499 in 2014 to 424 last year.
About 83 percent of Rwandan households have treated mosquito nets. The government targets at least one mosquito net per two people.
In 2013, there were about 900 000 cases of malaria in Rwanda. Of these, 409 people died, 30 percent of whom were children under 5. Figures from the Rwanda Biomedical Centre show that the morbidity rate in the country stands at 9 percent while the mortality rate is at 4 percent.
Malaria is the fourth biggest killer disease in Rwanda after neonatal illness, respiratory disease and cardio-vascular diseases.
Early last year, Rwanda was recognised for its battle against malaria, by the African Leaders Malaria Alliance Awards for Excellence in Vector Control.
The small central African country is said to be on course to achieving the millennium development goal of combating malaria. Malaria kills about 400 000 people a year, the majority of whom are children in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the World Health Organisation. –