Many countries are updating their national malaria strategies because of changing global events. There has been a call for serious focus on malaria elimination by 2040. The United Nations has adopted the Sustainable Development Goals that calls for an end of epidemics and universal health coverage and the Global Fund is using national strategies as a basis for its new funding mechanism.
Kenya is no exception. Jhpiego’s Malaria technical Adviser, Augustine Ngindu, who also works with the USAID supported Maternal and Child Survival Program, reports on the launching of the revised version of Kenya’s National Malaria Strategy that takes us into 2018. His summary of the event follows:
Kenya over the last three decades has developed several malaria strategies, the first in 1981 to reduce malaria mortality and reduce prevalence among vulnerable groups; the second a national plan in 1992 to reduce morbidity and mortality by 30% by 2000; the third 2001-2010 to achieve the Abuja Declaration targets; fourth 2009-2017 with a performance monitoring plan to reduce the burden of malaria by use of combined effective interventions.
The revised Kenya Malaria Strategy 2009-2018 was launched by the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Health on 7th November 2015. The KMS 2009-2018 is a product of the midterm review of the National Malaria Strategy 2009-2017. The midterm review was to address the emerging issues including devolution of health services from national to county governments, new initiatives like countries moving towards malaria elimination.
The revision of the KMS 2009 -2018 was informed by the Kenya Health Sector Strategic Plan 2014 -2018, the Kenya Health Policy 2012 – 2030, the Kenya Constitution of 2010. The revision was achieved through a series of consultative meetings involving multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral participatory process led by national and county governments. Photos from the re-launching can be seen at the Kenya National Malaria Control Program’s Facebook Page.
The future KMS 2009-2018 strategic directions and priorities are –
- Insecticide treated nets and indoor residual spraying to continue being the mainstay for vector control with an insecticide resistance management plan
- Prevention of malaria in pregnancy to continue being provided only in malaria endemic counties
- Increase in target population for case management from 80% -100% including development of a private sector case management strategy
- Strategies for expanding surveillance for purposes of epidemic preparedness and response in seasonal and low risk malaria zones.
The main challenges remain human resource and health commodity security especially in a state of devolved health services.
The Star Newspaper of Kenya also informs us that, “It will cost the government Sh57 billion to implement its revised malaria strategy from this year to 2018.” They also note that, “The changes in the strategy include the adoption of universal access to testing and treatment and expansion of malaria epidemic preparedness.”
Fortunately, Kenya’s malaria burden has been falling and focal areas of higher transmission have been identified to strategic advantage. We look forward to learning more about other countries’ efforts to update their malaria strategies.