Towards Malaria Elimination: Recommendations of the First Rwanda Malaria Forum

dscn9941-sm.jpgThe First Rwanda Malaria Forum was organized by the National Malaria Programme from the 26th to 28th September 2012 in Kigali Rwanda. The aim of the Forum was to recommend actions that Rwanda should take to accelerate the attainment of zero malaria deaths. The forum brought together experts from Rwanda, East Africa, Southern Africa, the United States of America and Europe. WHO was prominently represented by the Director Disease Prevention and Control on behalf of the Regional Director WHO AFRO.

The Forum recognized the remarkable progress Rwanda has made in reducing malaria morbidity and mortality and recommended that by 2017 Rwanda should aim to achieve zero deaths due to malaria and achieve pre-elimination status. The following were the key recommendations:

A) Maintain the remarkable achievements and further reduce malaria morbidity to pre-elimination levels countrywide

  • Increase funding to the fight against malaria (domestic and external)
  • Achieve 90% coverage of the population at risk of malaria with locally appropriate vector control interventions based on evidence
  • Improve malaria case diagnostics to 100% and treatment at all levels including the private sector.
  • Develop a comprehensive advocacy, communication and social mobilization aimed at shifting the understanding of malaria pre-elimination by the leadership and other policy makers, the community and all levels of the health system.
  • Develop capacity for malaria pre-elimination including in entomology and epidemiology
  • Conduct operational research to support programme implementation and robust documentation of the process

B) Achieve zero malaria deaths by 2017

  • Strengthen prompt access to treatment of severe malaria
  • Conduct malaria death audits for all cases

C) Investigate and classify all cases and foci in low endemic districts

  • Gradually, strengthen epidemiological, entomological and therapeutic surveillance
  • Strengthen malaria stratification for local and eventually imported malaria cases
  • Further strengthen the health system in readiness for pre-elimination using the WHO 6 pillars
  • Strengthen an integrated quality assurance and control system for diagnosis and treatment of malaria cases.

D) Develop and strengthen local and international collaborative and partnership initiatives to accelerate malaria control and pre-elimination in Rwanda and the region.

  • Strengthen linkages with other players in the health non-health sectors within the country
  • Create a multi-sectoral malaria pre-elimination group
  • Develop, with other East African Countries, a cross border strategy to accelerate malaria control and pre-elimination in the region

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