African governments accused of complacency on malaria


DESPITE an allocation of US $123 million by the Global Fund to fight Malaria in Kenya, the disease continues to claim thousands of lives every day due to the government’s reluctance to claim the money.

It has been revealed that 80 percent of the US$ 9.1 billion meant to fight malaria in the world goes to Africa, which has the highest death rates from the disease.

Unfortunately, just like Kenya, other African governments have been reluctant to move forward and claim the money to save their populations from the number one killer disease.

Uganda is one such country where programmes to fight malaria have been suspended, while programme 2 of RBM was supposed to pick up in 2002 and it is now three years without anything happening.

The Director for Malaria Advocacy Promotion Mr Louis da Gama explained that with financial support, necessary measures need to be taken to prevent the spread of malaria especially to the most vulnerable in the society.

“Pregnant women, children, refugees and people living with HIV and AIDS should be given priority in the distribution of mosquito nets, free drugs and also education about the disease,” he added.

He lamented that more people continued to perish in Kenya as a result of malaria infection while politicians spent the better part of the year wrangling over the constitution and delaying policy implementation on the fight.

The Executive Director of Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Dr Awa Marie Coll-Seck called for more involvement by governments, the private sector, academia and donors in the RBM fight.

Said Dr Coll-Seck, “we need a board with all actors, NGOs, the private sector, donors and academia to coordinate the fight against malaria if we are to win this war”.
She advocated for inclusion of the fight against malaria in all development programmes adding that the disease was more prevalent than HIV and AIDS, although AIDS had been given more attention.

One of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is to eradicate the disease by 2015, an attempt she says, seems slow in achieving even with the introduction of new drugs in the market to fight the disease.

Collo asked for mix of Anti-malaria drugs such as DDT and use of Mosquito treated nets to succeed in eradication of the disease.

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