At the end of March and through April, most homes in Rwanda’s Eastern Province received masked persons carrying high pressure spray pumps and fully covered with overall coats and gloves.
“I wish all the mosquitoes would die. Malaria has been disturbing many of our children including old people,” Mukamusoni Epiphany, an elderly resident of Ndatemwa, Kiziguro sector told Taarifa after her house had been sprayed.
According to Health Ministry, the Eastern and Southern Provinces accounted for 79% of the disease burden, and 11 endemic districts accounted for 59% of malaria cases in 2017.
Malaria prone areas categorized as, five high-burden districts include; Bugesera, Gisagara, Gatsibo, Kirehe, and Nyagatare.
Rwanda Biomedical Centre [RBC] however, has announced that aggressive efforts by the health ministry have significantly reduced malaria infections across the country.
“Rwanda recorded a 50% decrease in severe malaria cases and mortality in the last two years following the roll out of HBM in both children and adults,” RBC said as the countries mark the world Malaria day.
In reference to the WHO) 2018 global report, Rwanda reported a drop in malaria cases, with more than 430, 000 fewer cases of malaria in 2017 compared to 2016.
According to the Health Ministry, from 2015/2016 to 2017/2018, severe malaria cases dropped by 40% cent while malaria deaths reduced by 43%.
World Health Organization says there were 219 million cases of malaria in 2017, compared to 217 million estimated the year before.
According to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus the, Director-General of the World Health Organization, is pushing for eliminating malaria cases; “Zero malaria starts with me – are you ready to end Malaria?”
However, Africa continues to account for about 90% of malaria cases and deaths worldwide.
The World Health organization says that investing more in the development and deployment of a new generation of malaria tools is key to achieving the 2030 global malaria targets.
As the malaria epidemic maintains its grip on millions across sub-Saharan Africa, scientists have come up with various preventive measures including mosquito repellants, vaccines and drugs.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday that some 360,000 children in Africa will receive the world’s first malaria vaccine as part of a large-scale pilot project.
Malawi, Kenya and Ghana will be the first countries to receive this modern vaccine which WHO scientists say prevents 4 in ten malaria cases.
“The malaria vaccine has the potential to save tens of thousands of children’s lives,” WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a press statement.
Alena Pance, senior staff scientist at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute said, “this is the only vaccine that has some efficacy that we currently have and has taken decades to develop, this is in itself good news.”