â€˜Rethinkâ€™ Needed in Regional Fight against Malaria- Binagwaho
Drug-resistant malaria is not spreading across eastern region, but is developing independently in isolated pockets, malaria experts said Wednesday.
This new knowledge demands a new strategy for combating the potentially fatal parasite, the Minister of Health Dr. Agnes Binagwaho has warned said.
She noted that unless regional member states join efforts to fight Malaria, the recent surging cases of the disease will continue to deteriorate.
The Minister says movement of mosquitoes facilitated by several factors makes difficult for one country to lay strategies to eliminate the Malaria and thus suggests joint strategies for regional governments.
â€œMalaria is a threat, malaria is a problem, and itâ€™s not only for Rwanda alone but for the whole region and it is affecting even the economies,â€ The minister said while opening the Malaria Symposium on Friday.
Having cross border strategies, Minister Binagwaho says will bolster the fight against Malaria who would help in the elimination of the disease which last year increased to 2 million cases up from 514,000 in 2012.
We were about to win the battle against malaria and we had started elimination phase but itâ€™s increased 10 times more, she explained
The one day Malaria Symposium was organized by Rwanda Military Hospital in collaboration with Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Health/Rwanda Biomedical Center in partnership with World health Organization.
Accordingly, mosquitoes are now able to fly between 4 to 22 kilometers a day and survive to up to a month and are able to fly higher altitudes implying thatÂ Â going across bordersÂ Â Â has become easier.
â€œNow they have leant to fly high because of global warming, itâ€™s no longer cold up there and in less than a month they cover the country,â€ she noted.
Dr Olushayo Olu, World Health Organisation Representative in Rwanda says although the has been a remarkable increase in the malaria cases, countries still have room forÂ eliminate deaths due to Malaria, early detection as well as prevention.
â€œWe have reached a critical time in fighting malaria and there is both an opportunity and urgent need to accelerate progress by reducing mobility and mortality,â€ he added.
Despite the increase in cases, Rwanda has managed to reduce incidences of malaria by 86 percent, Mobility by malaria by 87 percent while mortality was reduced by 74 percent, Ministry of Health statistics have indicated.