Rwanda health ministry has launched the use of drones to spray larvicides in a drive to accelerate malaria elimination across the African continent.
The ministry urged Rwandan citizens, from political leaders to the private sector and local communities, to step up the fight against the disease.
Rwanda is among a handful of countries globally that succeeded in driving down malaria cases in recent years.
One key success factor is the increased use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets, which went from 17 percent to 75 percent in just 10 years among pregnant women, contributing to a maternal mortality reduction of 72 percent.
However, despite recent progress, Rwanda is still among the 15 countries with the highest burden of malaria worldwide.
Rwandan minister of health, Dr Ngamije Daniel said: “Currently in Rwanda, more than 57% of cases are treated by community health workers, which shows how actively our people are able to participate in malaria elimination initiatives and which is leading to an over 60% reduction of mortality due to malaria (from 2016 to date)”.
“These community-led actions have significantly helped reduce malaria cases, and through Zero Malaria Starts with Me, we hope they can further be involved in improving our nation’s health.”
RBM Partnership to end Malaria, CEO Dr Abdourahmane Diallo, added that there was no better way to start the decade of action to achieve sustainable development goals than by celebrating the distribution of the 2 billionth mosquito net worldwide and another country joining the pan-African Zero Malaria Starts with Me movement.
“Together, we can achieve zero malaria within a generation, a major and historic achievement that will unlock economic and social potential of our communities, countries and the entire continent.”
Rwandan government plans to distribute more than 7.5 million nets in the next three months.