Uganda Health Marketing Group joined the rest of the World in Commemoration of World Malaria Day, held on April 25, 2016 at Lira Golf Course under the theme: “End Malaria for Good”.
Malaria is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Uganda according to ministry of Health statistics. Uganda has the world’s highest malaria incidence, with a rate of 478 cases per 1,000 population per year (UDHS2011). The country has the third largest malaria burden in Africa and the sixth largest in the world.
“Uganda has achieved a remarkable reduction in malaria prevalence from 45% to 19% in five years! The messages from school children today show that health education on malaria has been very effective,” said Jo Lesser, Representative of the US Ambassador to Uganda.
Malaria is a major public health problem associated with slow socio-economic development and poverty and the most frequently reported disease at both public and private health facilities in Uganda.
Jo Lesser noted that less malaria means more productive communities, more school attendance & economic development.
Dr. Miriam Nanyunja, Representative of WHO Country Representative noted that despite the current upsurge in the north, Uganda has achieved a reduction in malaria prevalence from hyper to meso and hypo in many places.
“We have a very ambitious goal of eliminating malaria by 2030. This however, requires well-coordinated efforts among all key players if we are to achieve that goal” Dr. Miriam Nanyunja, said.
To defeat the disease, the WHO has set ambitious targets in its Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016–2030, which provides “a technical framework for all malaria-endemic countries” as they work towards control and elimination of the disease.
The strategy aims to reduce malaria cases and mortality rates by at least 90% by 2030, and also prevent a resurgence of malaria in all countries that are malaria-free.
Dr. Miriam Nanyunja emphasized the need for evidence based interventions if we are to achieve the target of ending malaria for good. She noted that social mobilisation and social and behaviour change communication is critical.
UHMG served over 1,300 people with malaria diagnosis services over the 3 days preceding the commemoration, with an average 8.4% among those tested for malaria. All the confirmed cases where given treatment on site.