In Rwanda progress to fight malaria has been steady since 1994, but the ministry of health says that more people continue to die of the preventable disease, with 148 people reportedly died last year.
According to the ministry of health, the number of malaria deaths from 2016 to 2020 reduced from 706 to 148 deaths.
Dr. Emmanuel Hakizimana, the Director of vector control at Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) told KT Radio yesterday, that the country has made good progress, but there is still a long way to go.
“We have made significant efforts in reducing malaria cases, but more has to be done, in both prevention and treatment if Rwanda is to achieve a malaria-free status by 2030.,” Hakizimana said.
According to current figures, Malaria cases reduced from 4.8million to 1.8million while severe malaria cases dropped from 18,000 to 3,400 from 2016 to 2020.
“Last year, we distributed 6million mosquito nets, conducted spraying campaigns and prevention efforts by emphasizing hygiene in communities. This contributed a lot to reducing malaria cases,” Dr. Hakizimana said.
He added that eradicating malaria needs collective efforts of residents by applying all three measures including prevention, spraying, and sleeping under mosquito nets.
In July 2016, Rwanda was among the African countries that committed to eliminating malaria by 2030.
The commitment was made during a meeting dubbed Malaria Alliance (ALMA) and AIDS Watch Africa which was organized by the African Union Commission.
Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) marked Malaria day while remembering 384,000 malaria deaths that were registered on the African continent in 2020.
According to the WHO report in 2020 the world registered 229million malaria cases of which 94% from Africa.
However, besides the worrying malaria deaths, the WHO reports say it was ‘great progress’ made in malaria response on the African continent.
The report says, between 2000 and 2019, malaria incidence declined by 29% and deaths by 60%.
Meanwhile, some countries have been applauded by the WHO for eliminating malaria and those include Cabo Verde and Algeria.
Other countries applauded for the significant fight against malaria include Botswana, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Namibia, and South Africa.
All of these countries achieved the 2020 milestones of reducing malaria incidence and deaths by 40%.