KIGALI, Rwanda, Jan. 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- At his home in Kanombe, Kigali, Damien Rwabarinda panics as a community health worker confirms Shema, his 7-months old baby, is Malaria positive.
Well trained community Health workers across the country are equipped with test-kits they use daily to detect malaria in the community. They register people to receive free treated mosquito-nets.
Government says 83% of households own at least one long lasting net.
The health workers found baby Shema's body temperature at 39 degrees and, like similar cases, he was immediately transferred to a health facility.
Rwabarinda is a classic example of Rwanda's collective efforts against Malaria.
Government, communities and individuals invented different platforms against malaria.
"Malaria control success is due to an aggressive government led roll out," says Dr. Corine Karema, in charge of Malaria control in Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC).
She cites "integrated mix of prevention, treatment and mosquito control activities, with a strong emphasis on strengthening our health system".
Imbuto Foundation, founded by the First Lady Jeannette Kagame, is among key organizations sensitizing against Malaria.
Since 2011, Imbuto foundation has reached more than 800,000 Rwandans with malaria prevention and treatment messages.
"Sponsoring games targets youth and spectators are key in transmitting anti malaria messages," says Clement Niyonzima, Malaria Project Officer at Imbuto Foundation.
Recently Imbuto foundations sponsored sports tournaments including; volleyball, football, basketball and karate, anti-malaria messages were communicated in the most crowded places like markets.
Globally, malaria mortality rates reduced by 42% and in Africa, by 49%. By 2012, Malaria in Rwanda had declined by 74%, and deaths caused by 68%.
Malaria accounted for 425 deaths (6.14%) from the overall 6,923 deaths encountered in Rwanda (2011-2012).
Malaria illnesses in 2013 increased to a million, but deaths caused declined to 409 (4%). In 2012, 117 of the 1,160 of children below 5 died.
However, in 2013, of the 81,484 cases diagnosed by Community Health Workers 78,026 (96%) were treated within 24 hours.
Rwanda has recorded 95% coverage year round of Long-Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLIN) and/or Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) interventions, the most important tools in preventing malaria. As result, in 2014 and previous years, the country's leader President Paul Kagame received the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) award from fellow continental leaders.
Meanwhile, Rwabarinda's son has now recovered successfully.
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SOURCE KT Press