Ongoing efforts by East African community member states to decisively deal with Malaria has won plaudit from international partners.
Speaking in Rwanda during the launch of the Great Lakes Malaria Initiative Kirehe-Rusumo border, World Health Organisation representative in Rwanda Brian Chirombo lauded the efforts and called for a need to sustain ongoing interventions.
Chirombo said this was the only way the Great Lakes Region will surmount challenges posed by the disease in a region that contributed 24.7 percent of all reported malaria cases across the world and 10.2 percent mortality in 2017.
“We cannot defeat Malaria unless we work together. WHO lauds the East African Community for ongoing efforts to defeat Malaria and we commit to support such initiatives,” said Chirombo.
Speaking at the same forum, Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman called on regional governments to enhance the capacity of institutions to comprehensively deal with Malaria as well as integrate economic and social interests.
“We are a people with common heritage, common area and shared philosophy. We can harness our strengths in building stronger nations by integrating economic and social interests,” observed Rashid.
The CAS said Malaria, which remains endemic across the East African region, continue to take a huge toll on respective governments and their people. “None of the other diseases can compare to Malaria as it strikes children under 5 and pregnant women with devastating effects.” Rashid told the participants.
Sukanya Nisra of the SC Johnson manufacturing company, and who was representing the private sector at the ceremony, said it was paramount for continued stakeholders’ engagements to ensure significant effect in the fight against Malaria adding that industry partners can have greater impact than just sale of products.
Speaking during the first Great Lakes Malaria Initiative planning meeting, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe had challenged East African community member states to integrate new technologies in their cross-border strategic approaches aimed at eliminating malaria within the region.
Zanzibar will next month play host to a meeting of regional Health Ministers who will gather to discuss scale up of border posts across the region. The meeting will be held between 6th-10th of December 2021.
Over the past eleven months, Malaria experts from the EAC Region working with WHO, Roll Back Malaria partnership and the African leaders Malaria Alliance have been engaged in discussions on a regional cross border malaria initiative to contribute to reducing the burden of Malaria in the cross-border areas.