Stakeholders call for revitalizing of malaria fight

May 18, 2022Featured Stories, Funding, Health, Malaria, News, Partner News

On 25th April 2022, Uganda through the Ministry of Health commemorated World Malaria Day. In Uganda, the Day was marked under the theme “Domesticating the fight against Malaria.”

The thrust of the theme was to urge the public to stick to simple doable actions, such as sleeping under a treated mosquito net every night and clearing mosquito breeding areas among other prevention measures.

Also, as part of the activities to commemorate World Malaria Day, Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja on Sunday, 24th April 2022, flagged off a bicycle ride at Namboole Stadium to raise awareness about Malaria and its prevention measures. The event was also attended among others by the Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng and the American Ambassador to Uganda, Ms. Natalie Brown, and the USAID Uganda Mission Director, Mr. Richard Nelson among other key stakeholders in the fight against Malaria.

Speaking at the event, the American Ambassador to Uganda, Natalie Brown made reference to a recently launched new activity under the President’s Malaria Initiative, which she said is a testament to the U.S. Government’s enduring commitment to our partnership with the Ugandan people to end malaria in Uganda and contribute to the wellbeing of Ugandans.’ The $38 million dollar investment will accelerate the objectives of the Ministry of Health National Malaria Control Division’s Uganda Malaria Reduction and Elimination Strategic Plan for 2021–2025, which aims to reduce malaria infections by 50 percent and malaria-related deaths by 75 percent in the regions of West Nile, Lango, Acholi, Karamoja, and Busoga, areas where Uganda’s malaria burden is highest.

According to the Global Fund, after years of steady declines, malaria cases, and deaths are on the rise mainly due to stalled funding and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The American Ambassador to Uganda, Ms. Natalie Brown (center) applauds one of the winners (holding a trophy) of the ‘Ride against Malaria’ that was organized as one of the activities to raise community awareness against Malaria. Looking on is Health Minister Dr. Ruth Aceng (left, with microphone).

In 2020, there were an estimated 241 million malaria cases and 627,000 malaria deaths worldwide. This represents about 14 million more cases in 2020 compared to 2019, and 69,000 more deaths. Approximately two-thirds of these additional deaths were linked to COVID-19 disruptions.

 “More than ever before, the Global Fund needs to support countries in their efforts to revitalize and sustain the fight against malaria,” said Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund.

Globally, 3.3 billion people in 106 countries are at risk of malaria. In 2012, malaria caused an estimated 627,000 deaths, mostly among African children.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease that continues to have a devastating impact on the health and livelihood of people around the world. In 2020, there were an estimated 241 million new cases of malaria and 627 000 malaria-related deaths in 85 countries. More than two-thirds of deaths were among children under the age of 5 living in the WHO African Region.

In October 2021, WHO recommended the broad use of the RTS, S malaria vaccine for young children living in areas with moderate and high malaria transmission. The recommendation was informed by results from an ongoing WHO-coordinated pilot program in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi that has reached more than 900 000 children since 2019. The program’s evidence and experience have shown that the vaccine is safe, feasible to deliver, and reduces deadly severe malaria. RTS, S is an example of innovation at work and a scientific breakthrough – it is the first vaccine recommended for use against a human parasitic disease of any kind.

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