Families, communities, as well as political and business leaders have been urged to make a personal commitment to up the fight against malaria.
This followed the launch by President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya’s Zero Malaria Starts with Me campaign, joining the Pan-African movement to strengthen local, national and regional efforts towards a malaria-free Africa.
President Kenyatta, the newly appointed chair of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (Alma), said the country was planning on distributing more than 15 million mosquito nets in the coming months, bringing the coverage of citizens to 25 million.
“Significant gains have been made in the battle against malaria and progress needs to be accelerated. As we enter the decade to end malaria, I am committed to ensuring that we accelerate progress and end this ancient scourge. I call on the African community and especially the youth to be leaders in health and the fight against malaria,” he said.
To kick-off the country’s Zero Malaria Starts with Me campaign, the Ministry of Health will scale up the dissemination of public health messages and promote youth engagement by developing a network of community malaria youth champions.
Kenya has also started the process of establishing an End Malaria Council and Fund, an innovative resource mobilisation mechanism to attract contributions from the private sector.
Earlier this year, the President called on African leaders to join him in establishing at least 15 End Malaria Councils and Funds.
In line with the President’s Alma priorities around digitisation of malaria-related data at the country level, Kenya is also launching their malaria scorecard. This allows Kenyans to understand the malaria situation where they live, and take action.
Her Excellency Amira ElFadil, Commissioner for Social Affairs at the African Union Commission, said at this time of uncertainty and disruption due to Covid-19, many have been quick to forget the fatality of malaria in Africa.
“We are all particularly concerned about severe disruptions to life-saving net campaigns,” she said.