On the morning of Tuesday 25th April, the Secretary of State, Charged with Hospital Care and Coordination at the Ministry for Health and Social Welfare, Daniel A�ngel Sima Mico, gave a speech to mark World Malaria Day.
The speech from the Secretary of State highlighted the results obtained from the latest surveys, with regards to the reduction in cases of the illness, and the new component introduced within the National Programme for the Fight Against Malaria.
Daniel A�ngel Sima Mico began by saying that World Malaria Day is an annual opportunity to highlight the progress made in the control of the infection, and commit to continuing the interventions and measures, in order to accelerate progress against this deadly illness. This day was instituted by member States of the World Health Organisation (WHO) at the Health Assembly in 2007, as an occasion to show the meed for continuous intervention in the prevention and control of malaria, with constant political commitment.
Furthermore, as recalled by the Secretary of State, the banner this year is “Let’s put an end to malaria once and for all”. The WHO is placing emphasis on prevention, an essential strategy to reduce the damage caused by an illness which continues to kill over 400,000 people every year.
Since 2000, prevention has played a significant role in the reduction in the number of cases and deaths, basically through the spreading of the use of mosquito nets treated with insecticide, and the spraying of the interior of housing.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, where the greatest incidence of the illness occurs, the estimated proportion of the population that sleeps under mosquito nets treated with insecticide increased from 30% in 2010, to 53% in 2015. The number of pregnant women receiving preventative treatment multiplied by a factor of 5 between 2010 and 2015, in around twenty African countries.
The extension of prevention is giving results, according to the most recent estimates from the WHO, many countries with continuous transmission of the illness have achieved a significant reduction in the number of cases. On a global scale, new infections went down by 21% between 2010 and 2015. In the same five-year period, deaths from malaria dropped by 29%. In order to accelerate progress towards these global targets, the WHO is asking affected countries and their associates to intensify interventions for the prevention of this illness. In addition, the organisation is asking for greater financing aimed at the development, evaluation and distribution of new instruments.
Furthermore, according to the Secretary of State, in Equatorial Guinea, malaria continues to be a significant public health problem, and the first cause of medical consultations among the population, making the fight against this illness a high priority for the Government led by H. E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.
The latest surveys demonstrate that the Republic of Equatorial Guinea has achieved a significant reduction in childhood mortality on the Island of Bioko, where the prevalence of parasitaemia fell from 45% in 2004 to 11.8% in 2016, in contrast to the 59% in the Continental Region (EDS 2011).
A new component has been the introduction of the National Programme for the Fight Against Malaria: the initiative of a clinical trial for a vaccine against malaria”, the aim of which is to obtain an effective solution for the elimination of this problem, at both a global level and in Equatorial Guinea. This initiative and the results obtained, on the Island of Bioko, are no more than the efforts and political will of the Government to put an end to this infection.
From the Ministry for Health and Social Welfare, it is our job to improve the Health and welfare of citizens throughout the nation”, assured Sima Mico, and he added: However, we are taking advantage of this day to send out a special call to the other ministerial departments, institutions, foundations, bodies, companies, etc., as their support is this great fight will allow us to provide national coverage for the various interventions and activities in the fight against malaria, seeking the way to make interventions more effective and sustainable, in the continental part of the country, and on the Island of Annobon”.
The Secretary of State concluded by saying that the fight against malaria is multidisciplinary and inter-sector, and he recalled the banner for this year in order to join forces and put an end to this illness.
Source: Official Web Page of the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea