Thursday 25 April 2019 | Distance travelled: 133 km (5689 km total)
We were lucky to be invited to the World Malaria Day commemoration event at a hotel in Siaya county, western Kenya. This year the Ministry of Health were aiming to release their Kenya Malaria Strategy 2019-2023 at the same event, so it was a great opportunity for us to hear about their updated plans to control and eliminate malaria.
We arrived just in time to hear Dr Waqo Erjesa, head of the Kenyan National Malaria Control Program, unveil the strategy. He listed the key objectives:
- To protect 100% of people living in malaria risk areas through access to appropriate malaria preventitive interventions by 2023
- To manage 100% of suspected malaria cases according to the Kenya malaria treatment guideline by 2023
- To establish systems for malaria elimination in targetted counties by 2023
- To increase utilisation of appropriate malaria interventions in Kenya to at least 80% by 2023
- To strengten malaria surveillance and use of information to improve decision making for programme performance
- To provide leadership and management for optimal implementation of malaria interventions at all levels, for the achievement of all objectives by 2023
It was an interesting event. Lots of people there surrounding the stage and plenty of press covering the event for Kenyan media. It was the first time we'd been in an even vaguely academic situation for weeks, so it was nice to see some presentations and listen to people talk about future plans.
A succession of partners spoke, from RB, an Indian PR company that puts lots of money into malaria research in Kenya, to the US government, UN family and the local county governor. The 75% reduction in burden in five years seems ambitious, but probably more realistic than the complete elimination planned over a similar timeframe in Zambia.
We left after the talks and travelled back to Kisumu to plan the next few days.