Rwanda has been cited among the twelve sub-Saharan countries that will receive subsidized anti-Malaria drugs under the Affordable Medicines Facility Programme aimed at increasing accessibility to malaria treatment.
According to media reports, malaria patients in the selected countries will buy effective anti-Malaria drugs for 40 US cents (Rwf 22.6), down from US $6 (Rwf 3,400) per dose under the new programme.
This was revealed at an ongoing Malaria conference that is being held in Kenya.
Latest research results show that at least 97 percent of people in Sub-Saharan Africa cannot afford the life saving artemisinin-based combination therapies.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Richard Sezibera recently noted that various government interventions such as the national health insurance programme, distribution of bed nets and indoor residual spraying, are responsible for the 60 percent reduction of the cases in Rwanda.
Other beneficiaries include Benin, Cambodia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda, who have applied for the programme through the Global Fund.
The Affordable Medicines Facility is expected to save lives and reduce the use of less-effective treatments to which Malaria parasites are becoming increasingly resistant.
Meanwhile during the same conference, researchers also noted that lack of adequate storage facilities and other regulatory requirements are obstacles towards effective roll-out of the Malaria vaccine in African countries.
Participants decided that more capacity building is required if the vaccine is to become a reality.