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    Mosquitoes around the home can be reduced significantly by minimizing the amount of standing water available for mosquito breeding. Residents are urged to reduce standing water around the home in a variety of ways.


    The best way is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.This can be accomplished using personal protecting  while outdoors when mosquitoes are present. Treated bed nets should be used sleeping. Mosquito repellent should be used when outdoor.


    Nearly half of the world’s population is at risk of getting malaria. Pregnant women are particularly at risk of malaria. Children under 5 years are at high risk of malaria.


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A leader shows the way

When United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon, handed the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) award to Kenya's President, Mwai Kibaki, in May 2011, little did observers think the gesture would stir the demand for even more action in the fight against malaria.

The award to President Kibaki was in recognition of his government's exemplary progress in malaria control, removal of taxes and tariffs o n a l l e s s e n t i a l m a l a r i a commodities and banning of inefficacious monotherapies with a view to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on child mortality and maternal deaths.

"Getting support from the highest office in our land would be encouraging for us as researchers and to the entire nation whose residents have continued to suffer from malaria," said Dr. Nekoye N. Otsyula, a malaria clinical trials investigator at Kenya Medical Research Institute- Walter Reed Project (KEMRI-WRP).

In an interview with Eyes on Malaria in Kenya's city of Kisumu, she said “Good policies can bring great results and the ALMA award should encourage the government and i n t e r n a t i o n a l d e v e l o p m e n t partners to pump more resources into malaria research and control. Dr. Nekoye said eradication is possible if the country and development partners, pulled towards the same direction with equal commitment to the fight.

With an increased funding, Dr. Nekoye believes researchers and partners can scale-up work on the search for malaria vaccines. Dr Nekoye lauded the formation of INDEPTH's Malaria Clinical Trials Alliance (MCTA) for the partnership in the last project which she observed contributed greatly to malaria control in Kenya and other African countries which benefited from the MCTA funding.

Speaking from her office which shares a wall with Obama Children's Ward at the New Nyanza Provincial Hospital, the malaria trial investigator confirmed that a number of deaths from severe malaria was due to ignorance and the failure to look for appropriate intervention.

“This includes the habit of patients resorting to traditional medicine and taking ineffective malarial drugs and consulting a qualified health care worker only when it's too late.”

With the ALMA award, she suggests, the country should e m b a r k o n a n a g g r e s s i v e awareness creation to deter people from buying over-the-c ou nter dr ug s wi thout fir st
confirming their illnesses at a health facility.

The Ministry of Public Health says the ALMA award to President Kibak indicates that when a leader shows the way, success is inevitable. The Director of Communication at the Ministry, Ali Chege, said the g o v e r n m e n t h a s b e e n emboldened by the award to call for increased funding from all stakeholders to help Kenya achieve its goal “of maintaining the lead in malaria control and eradication in Africa.”

"This is why at the Ministry of Public Health we ask all the stakeholders including our Ministry of Finance, development partners and the p r i v a t e s e c t o r t o c o n s i d e r
allocating more resources towards those goals and with enhanced funding to Malaria research and control in the country," said Chege when reached for comments on what the ALMA award means for Kenya and Africa.

Mr Chege noted that for a remarkable achievement to be realized in Africa, all the Malaria
prone African countries should increase their financial allocation in fighting the disease.

This, he suggested, should be through increased support to Malaria research institutions and removal of tariffs on Malaria commodities.

Even though any government's operations rely on taxes, Kenyans know their country has gained more in removing those taxes and tariffs on the malaria drugs to enhance their affordability and also help save lives.

By Bernard Okebe, Kenya

Eighth Edition