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Rwanda: malaria drops by over 75% in six years

President Kagame receives the 2014 African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) Award for Excellence in Vector Control

President Kagame receives the 2014 African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) Award for Excellence in Vector Control

The African Union Summit of heads of state has recognized Rwanda among the seven African countries that have managed to combat malaria, with Rwanda making over 75% drop in the incidence of malaria in the last 6 years.

Rwanda emerged as the third winner of the end malaria awards which were presented at the African Union Summit held in Addis Ababa, this February

Armando Guebuza, President of Mozambique, conferred the 2014 African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) Awards for Excellence in Vector Control to Cape Verde, Madagascar, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Swaziland.

Rwanda has seen significant improvement in the fight against malaria due its political will and government support to community participation in the eradication of malaria which kills over 627,000 people every year and at least USD $12 billion every year in economic potential.

In 2012 cases of malaria were at 5205 people, while in December 2013, the country had the highest number with 816 cases. For the first quarter of 2013 the health center has recorded more than 1950 cases of patients with 897 people in January.

Rwanda is set to eradicate malaria-related deaths in 2017 and the government believes that in order to achieve this, it will require the participation of the community and the use of appropriate drugs and insecticide-treated bed nets.

Some of the initiatives include attaining at least 95% coverage year round of Long-Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLIN) and/or Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) interventions, the most important tools in preventing malaria.

Last month, the World Malaria Report declared that as a result of significant scaling-up of
malaria control interventions, an estimated 3.1 million lives have been saved in Africa since 2000, reducing malaria mortality rates by 49%.

Though fund resources for malaria prevention globally have grown from $100 million in 2000 to an estimated $1.9 billion in 2013, the President Guebuza, who is also chairman of ALMA, called on his counterparts and development to increase malaria funding so that we sustain the current progress.

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