Mombasa, October 31, 2020– His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the launch of the Kenyan campaign Zero Malaria Starts with Me, which joins the pan-African movement to strengthen local, national and regional efforts for a malaria-free Africa. The campaign calls on individuals, families, communities, and political and business leaders to make personal commitments to step up the fight against the disease.
The East African nation, which accounts for 3% of the world’s malaria cases, has made significant strides in controlling the disease in recent years. Improved access to malaria prevention tools such as insecticide-treated nets and interior debris spraying has played a key role in Kenya’s malaria control efforts.
In the coming months, the country plans to distribute over 15 million mosquito nets, increasing the coverage of its citizens to 25 million. In addition, 1.8 million Kenyans were protected from malaria by spraying insecticide residue in 2018. The country is also participating in the world’s first malaria vaccine pilot program, which immunized 65,000 Kenyan children against malaria despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya and Chairman of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), said:
“Considerable progress has been made in the fight against malaria and progress needs to be accelerated. As the decade to end malaria begins, I am committed to helping us accelerate progress and end this old scourge. I urge the African community, and especially youth, to be leaders in health and in the fight against malaria. ”
To kick off the country’s Zero Malaria Starts with Me campaign, the Ministry of Health will increase the spread of public health messages and promote youth engagement in the fight against malaria by building a network of youth malaria champions in the community.
The Republic of Kenya has also begun establishing an End Malaria Council and Fund, an innovative mechanism to mobilize resources to attract private sector contributions. Earlier this year, SE President Kenyatta called on the African heads of state and government to work with him to set up at least 15 End Malaria Councils and Funds and pledged to involve the regional economic blocs in Africa in order to address the main challenges and solutions in the fight against malaria Find.
In line with SE President Kenyatta’s ALMA priorities for digitization and real-time access to malaria-related data at the country level, Kenya is also launching its Malaria Scorecard today. This scorecard enables every citizen of Kenya to understand the malaria situation in which they live and enables them to take action as part of the “Zero Malaria Starts with Me” campaign.
Her Excellency Amira ElFadil, Commissioner for Social Affairs at the African Union Commission, says:
“In this time of uncertainty and disruption in the world due to COVID-19, many have quickly forgotten about the death of malaria in Africa. We are all particularly concerned about serious disruptions to lifesaving network campaigns and limited access to anti-malarial medicines. If we all emulate a willingness to step up advocacy and take action like we did in Kenya, we can highlight the critical importance of sustaining malaria efforts inside and outside a pandemic. ”
Dr. Abdourahmane Diallo, CEO of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, comments:
“The RBM partnership is ready to support the Republic of Kenya in their efforts to achieve zero malaria. We look forward to continuing to work with the African Leaders Malaria Alliance and its Chairman, His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta, and to support its work to end malaria in Kenya and across the continent. Today more than ever, zero malaria is beginning for each of us. “
Joy Phumaphi, Executive Secretary of ALMA added:
“Heads of State or Government play a critical role in delivering the necessary commitments to accelerate progress in the fight against malaria. The launch of the Kenyan campaign “Zero Malaria Starts with Me” shows an incredible leadership role. We hope that more countries will follow Kenya’s leadership after Kenyatta, President of Excellency, was appointed chairman of the Malaria Alliance of African leaders earlier this year. ”
Malaria is a disease that affects the African continent disproportionately. Over 90% of malaria cases and deaths worldwide. To fight the disease and save lives, Zero Malaria Starts with Me combines local and national action by involving all members of society in the fight against malaria.
The continent-wide “Zero Malaria Starts With Me” campaign was endorsed by the leaders of the African Union at their 31st summit in July 2018 to support the AU’s goal of ending malaria by 2030. The campaign sparked a grassroots movement by engaging political leaders at all levels, mobilizing resources and funding and empowering communities to take responsibility for malaria efforts and hold those responsible in the fight against malaria accountable.
Since then, the Pan-African movement has continued to gain momentum. Kenya is the 16th country to start its national campaign “Zero Malaria Starts with Me”.