World Malaria Day
April 25th is World Malaria Day and an important time to focus on this year’s theme: Invest in the Future, Defeat Malaria. Malaria is a significant public health threat globally. In 2012, 627,000 people died from the disease and most were young children in sub-Saharan Africa. According to reports from hospitals and clinics in Kenya, there are an estimated 6.7 million new cases and 4,000 deaths each year. Many malaria infections go unreported and are not treated at area hospitals and clinics, so the numbers of cases and deaths are likely much higher. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) works with countries around the world to fight malaria. In Kenya, CDC collaborates closely with the Kenya Ministry of Health, and efforts are also supported by the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative.
Over three decades ago, CDC began working with the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) which is part of Kenya’s Ministry of Health. This partnership concentrates on capacity building and technical assistance from CDC to KEMRI. Other areas of focus include surveillance, monitoring and evaluation, prevention, case management, and laboratory science.
With 70% of Kenya’s population at high risk for malaria and western Kenya hit the hardest, the CDC’s continued investment and partnership with KEMRI is even more critical to helping the Government of Kenya reach its goal of eliminating malaria in western Kenya. To learn more about CDC’s investment in Kenya, visit:www.cdc.gov/malaria/malaria_worldwide/cdc_activities/kenya.html.