REPORTED cases of malaria have dropped by half as more Kenyans embrace preventive measures. Malaria now accounts for about 13 per cent of all outpatient consultations compared to more than 30 per cent in 2012, Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said yesterday. “Our efforts in malaria control are bearing fruit,” he said.
Macharia released the figures in Nairobi yesterday ahead of Saturday’s World Malaria Day. Only less than five per cent of hospital admissions now are malaria cases. The CS attributed the progress mostly to increased use of treated bed nets. Nyanza and Western counties lead with 81 per cent ownership of treated nets. “Once we complete the net distribution campaign by the end of 2015, 14 million nets will have been distributed across 25 counties,” Macharia said. More than 70 per cent of Kenyans remain at risk of malaria, which still kills 11,000 people every year.
Health principal secretary Khadijah Kassachoon said the country will require Sh57 billion for the next five years to control the disease. The theme for this year’s theme Malaria Day is: Invest in the Future: Defeat Malaria. The official celebration will be at Nangina Girls Primary School in Samia, Busia district, on Friday.