Rwanda scores high on global malaria scorecard

A global malaria prevention scorecard, which will be launched on Monday in New York, indicates that Rwanda has scored highly pointing out that the country is on track in the fight against the disease.The scorecard was compiled by African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA).
Mosquito nets have played a significant role in reducing malaria incidences in Rwanda. net photo.
Mosquito nets have played a significant role in reducing malaria incidences in Rwanda. net photo.

A global malaria prevention scorecard, which will be launched on Monday in New York, indicates that Rwanda has scored highly pointing out that the country is on track in the fight against the disease.

The scorecard was compiled by African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA).

President Paul Kagame has been invited for the launch of the scorecard.

ALMA is a coalition of 40 African Heads of State with a common goal of bringing malaria deaths to near zero across the continent by 2015.

The latest step in the effort is the ALMA Scorecard for Accountability and Action.

According to the scorecard, Rwanda scored 100 of the projection in sectors of; mosquito nets rollout by 2011, Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT) financing and scaling up Unsecticide-Treated mosquito Net (ITN).

Artemisinin is a group of drugs that possess the most rapid action of all current drugs against malaria.

However, Rwanda got only 54 percent of the Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) financing projection score.

In an interview with The New Times, the Director of the Malaria unit in TRAC Plus, Dr. Corine Karema, said that over the last decade, countries like Rwanda have aggressively scaled up malaria control tools such as the rollout of ITNs and ACTs.

 “In Rwanda, malaria cases or deaths have fallen by over 60 percent partly due to a large increase in international funding for malaria control, but in 2009, a delay of mosquito nets replacement led to nationwide stock-outs of ITNs—which led to a malaria upsurge” she said.

“Starting with districts with a high increase of malaria incidence, the national malaria control program responded to the resurgence with mass distributions of ITNs, and by 2010, malaria incidence and morbidity had fallen again”.

Currently, the Ministry of Health is conducting a malaria costing analysis with the support of ALMA and the Clinton Health Access Initiative.

Commenting on the launch of the scorecard, Dr. Karema said that participants at the event are expected to talk about the importance of sustained financing of anti-malaria initiatives.

“The scorecard will show how many countries still have significant gaps to sustain universal coverage.   Rwanda, however, is a star performer and can show other countries how well it has performed,” she said.

“Preliminary results to be published soon, suggest that over the next five years, a sustained control program may avert an estimated 38 million malaria cases, implying a US$ 267 million in costs to the public health system of diagnosing and treating out-patient and in-patient malaria”.

Others expected at the launch of the ALMA scorecard include Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, former US President Bill Clinton, and Dr. Rajiv Shah, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, among others. 

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