By Elias Hakizimana.
Malaria cases account to 216 million annually and 50 percent of the World’s population are at risk while it kills 445,000 of which 91 percent are Africans, yet, its funding for control stalled since 2010.
This epidemic as a major public health issue has pushed Rwanda’s Civil society organizations to join forces and work in synergy with various stakeholders more effectively to eliminate Malaria according to Willy Muhizi Mwanafunzi, Executive Director of Faith Victory Association.
The call was made by several members of Rwanda NGOs Forum on HIV/AIDS and Health Promotion in collaboration with Faith Victory association (FVA), Society for Family Health (SFH) and others on Wednesday April 24, 2019 in Kigali in line with the World Malaria Day preparation.
Globally, the same battle against Malaria through public awareness campaigns and call for government and development partners’ commitment to fund initiatives for malaria elimination is a head to eliminate this disease.
The effective malaria elimination by civil society will be achieved through a new global network dubbed “Civil Society for Malaria Elimination” (CS4ME) that will be officially launched on April 25, 2019 in Paris (France) along with the celebration of the World Malaria Day whose theme is ‘Zero Malaria starts with me’
Civil society organizations recommend the government of Rwanda to champion resource mobilization efforts for Malaria elimination in Africa and urge partners to investigate the causes of its increase and develop appropriate interventions.
Speaking to the media during a press conference on April 24, 2019, Manasseh wandera Gihana, Executive Director of SFH-Rwanda emphasized on the role of civil society in this regard, saying that they will continue to encourage personal protection.
“What we tell the community is that everyone can protect him/herself by sleeping in mosquito nets, or use mosquito repellents outside when they are in the daily activities, we also encourage family responsibility and gender equality, calling men and women to ensure the family is protected by cutting bushes, closing doors and windows, sleeping in mosquito nets and using repellents,” Gihana said.
Current statistics show that 70 percent of Rwandans sleep in mosquito nets but mosquitos tick them during the day time, reason why use of repellents is encouraged.
Jean Bosco Kwizera, Resident Representative of Umurage Communication for Development (UmC) said that they will further efforts to boost community’s behavior change and call partners like SFH to avail the products useful to fight against Malaria. “We need to engage SFH to avail the products where we reach people on fields for a strong mobilization,” he said.
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