Rwanda and her neighbouring countries have agreed to develop a cross border strategy to control the spread of malaria and its elimination in the region.
According to reports, cross border infections could be hindering achieving malaria elimination from the regional countries.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Health, Rwanda’s ten border districts have a higher prevalence of the disease compared to the rest, thereby hampering the progress made in combating the disease.
The forum also agreed to ensure that 90 per cent of the population at risk of malaria will have access to locally appropriate vector control interventions based on evidence.
It was also agreed that there will be gradual strengthening of surveillance through investigation and classification in all low endemic districts.
The head of Malaria and other parasitic diseases at Rwanda Biomedical Centre, Dr Corine Karema, said they will also improve malaria case diagnostics to 100 per cent and treatment at all levels including the private sector.
Among other recommendations was that the country should strive to maintain the achievements made thus far and build on it to further improve health system strengthening for pre-elimination using the WHO 6 pillars including increasing funding to malaria (domestic and external) and other linkages within the health sector.
Dr Abraham Mnzavaa, a WHO representative, said the commitment of zero death from malaria taken by the government is a good approach and the fact the country sought advice from experts was a great decision.
“The WHO will play its role to support the country achieve its goals,” he said.
Dr Anita Asiimwe the Deputy Director General of RBC, asked development partners to help countries that are still struggling with the malaria, calling upon them to renew their response to the malaria disease amidst other priorities.
“I am calling up all you to stay focused and look at the people not the leadership of these countries,” she continued.
Rwanda will also develop a comprehensive advocacy, communication and social mobilisation strategy geared towards policy makers, high level leadership, local governments and all levels of the system in order to orient them to the paradigm shift towards elimination of the epidemic, she added.
By Evaline Namuwaya, The New Times