Rwanda commemorates World Malaria Day


Kigali, April 25, 2021.Rwanda joins the rest of the world to celebrate the World Malaria Day under the theme, “Zero Malaria Starts With Me.” The day is an opportunity to combine efforts in the community mobilization to fight against malaria through an increased awareness of the community and all stakeholders in malaria response and providing malaria prevention and control interventions in all districts.
 
The control to fight Malaria in Rwanda made a good progress and impressive achievements up to date due to a strong political commitment of the Government of Rwanda, as well as the participation of the community.
 
Efforts were made to put in place Malaria Contingency Plan in 2016/2017 aiming at calling all key stakeholders  to join their efforts in the fight against malaria.Through efficiency and data use, the Government of Rwanda extended IRS in 12 high malaria burden districts where more than 70% of malaria cases come from; deployed LLINs based on mosquito resistance evidence with now introduction of new generation of LLINs (PBO and G2 Nets); scaled up of Home Based Management of Malaria to all ages and in all districts for early diagnosis and treatment by Community Health Workers (currently 56% of all malaria are managed by CHWs).Rwanda piloted the use of drones for larviciding in collaboration with Private Operators (CHARIS and SFH Rwanda); introduced Mosquito Repellent Products through social marketing.
 
With all these combined efforts, Rwanda recorded a drop in malaria incidence from 400 per 1000 in 2016 to 148 per 1000 in 2020. Rwanda continued to witness a decrease in malaria cases from 4.8 millions in 2017 to 1.8 millions in 2020, a decrease in severe malaria from 18,000 in 2016 to 3,000 in 2020. Malaria related deaths decreased from 700 in 2016 to 148 deaths in 2020.
 
Rwanda has leveraged existing systems to address both COVID-19 and malaria". Key malaria control interventions being decentralized and implemented mainly at Health centre and community level, it was very easy to continue all of them while observing COVID-19 prevention measures. Rwanda continued to conduct IRS campaigns by CHWs in all 12 districts even during lock down; LLINs were distributed but with a redesign (not people gathering but CHWs and Head of Villages/Isibo distributed LLINs at household level). During the pandemic, COVID-19 Prevention education was done easily using existing systems, from central level to community level and drones were used to disseminate messages.
 
Despite different efforts to control malaria in Rwanda, malaria continues to be a major public health problem and remains one of the first leading causes of morbidity and mortality in Rwanda.
 
Rwanda recorded a malaria upsurge in 2016 and 2017 where the country registered over 4.8 Million malaria cases in 2017, with 18,000 severe malaria cases in 2016, and around 700 deaths due to malaria in 2016.
The upsurge was the consequence of some factors identified including mosquito resistance to insecticides used for IRS (Indoor Residual Spraying) and LLINs (Long lasting insecticidal nets), low coverage in key effective malaria prevention interventions, climate change, mosquito biting behaviour change, increased irrigation, etc.
 
 
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For more information, please contact:
 
Dr. Aimable MBITUYUMUREMYI, Malaria and OPD Division Manager
(250)788486256. Email: amiable.mbituyumuremyi@rbc.gov.rw
 
Mr. Julien NIYINGABIRA MAHORO, Division Manager, Rwanda Health Communication Centre
Tel: +250 788 606072, E-mail:  julien.niyingabira@rbc.gov.rw