Health officials in Rwanda have raised a red flag over the upsurge in malaria cases which they say has been on the increase over the past months.
According to data from Rwanda’s health ministry, the East African nation registered about two million malaria cases last year compared to 514,000 cases in 2012.
“Malaria cases had reduced in recent years but are now on the rise. This is why we are putting in more efforts and that’s why we organised a symposium to collectively see how this can be tackled,” said Dr Fabien Ntaganda, a hemato-pathologist at Rwanda Military Hospital.
We need to focus on actions that can be done in our environment for all the places where mosquitoes breed. We must take all action to rid off the disease.
Rwanda and other regional countries are experiencing an upsurge of malaria cases following a decade of success in significantly reducing morbidity and mortality due to the killer tropical disease.
Dr Jules Mugabo, the head of malaria department at the World Health Organisation country office, said malaria is not a problem in only Rwanda but rather prevalent in other countries like Uganda, Namibia and Zimbabwe, that’s why combining efforts with various parties will help in the successful curbing of the disease.
“It is through gatherings like this coming symposium that we will share ideas, we will learn how other countries are handling or have handled the problem and the kind of measures they have taken,” Dr Mugabo said.
Rwanda’s health officials blamed the re-emergence of the disease partly on climate change while officials also hinted at a possible laxity by the institutions in charge of malaria control programmes.
“We can reduce the impact of the disease and even get to zero deaths. I think we can get there. We need to focus on actions that can be done in our environment for all the places where mosquitoes breed. We must take all action to rid off the disease,” said Rwanda’s health minister Dr. Agnes Binagwaho.