WHO Decries Limited Access To Malaria Prevention, Treatment In Africa

Dr. Akpaka Kalu, Team Leader for Tropical and Vector-born Diseases, WHO Africa Regional Office

…Calls For Collaboration

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has identified limited access to prevention and treatment as the leading cause of malaria in the continent.

Dr. Akpaka A. Kalu, Team Leader for Tropical and Vector-born Diseases in the Africa Regional Office of the World Health Organisation (WHO) disclosed this while speaking on the burden of the disease in Africa.

TheFact Nigeria recalled that the WHO and Pan American Health Organisation(PAHO) on the 25th of February, 2021 certified El Salvador as malaria free. Many other countries on that continent had also achieved that feat, therefore, it was possible for Africa to conquer the disease too.

“Malaria is a socio-economic problem in Africa.

“In the year 2019, there were 215 million malaria cases in Africa, 94% of the global total.

Unfortunately, there were also 384,000 malaria deaths”, said Dr. Akpaka.

He added that 67% of pregnant women were not getting the treatment they needed and 32% of households didn’t have a single net.

Giving a reason behind the staggering statistics, Kalu noted that access to malaria prevention and treatment was still very limited.

Therefore, in proferring solution, he implored that all hands should be on deck to ensure that malaria prevention was scaled up to universal coverage.

“Everybody must have access to an insecticide treated net to sleep in a malaria-endemic area.

“Access to testing and treatment of malaria cases should be enhanced. Where there are no health facilities, community-based management of malaria should be introduced,” he said.

He reiterated that by jointly working together at all levels; community, district and national, the ravaging malaria would be halted.

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