‘We are committed to reducing new cases of malaria by 40%’
April 21, 2017 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Program Manager of the National Malaria Control Programme in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation has reiterated the commitment of the ministry to reducing new cases of Malaria by 40% come 2020.
Sierra Leone will join other countries around the world on 25 April, 2017, to observe this year’s World Malaria Day on the theme: “End Malaria for Good.”
World Malaria Day was instituted by the World Health Assembly at its 60th session in May, 2007 and commemorated every year to create awareness about an ancient disease and the devastating impact it has on the lives of more than three billion people.
During a presser yesterday, Dr. Samuel Juana Smith, stated that the ultimate goal of such reduction would require concerted actions from everyone to ensure uptake of preventive measures and timely treatment.
“Malaria is endemic in Sierra Leone. The entire population is at risk of infection. The disease is one of the causes of deaths and illnesses. One in ten people have had malaria countrywide,” he said.
According to him, malaria can affect anyone but noted that some people, including pregnant women, children under five and those living with HIV/AIDS were at risk of getting the disease.
He disclosed that malaria contributes to nearly 40% of deaths of children under- five years of age in the country but added that there were opportunities to save lives by reducing transmission and eliminating the disease where possible.
Dr. Smith said according to the World Malaria Report for 2016, there were 212 million new cases of malaria with 429,000 deaths in 2015.
“World Malaria Day is a chance to shine a spotlight on the global effort to control malaria. We can be the generation that ends malaria once and for all,” he noted.
He spoke about the ministry’s plan to ensure that by 2030, the prevalence of malaria is reduce to as low as 5% and disclosed that from June 1 to 10 this year, 4.3million insecticide bed nets would be distributed nationwide.