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About / Overview


Globally, Malaria is the main cause of death for children under 5, causing an estimated 34,000 deaths annually. In pregnant women, malaria causes anemia, low birth weight, miscarriage and even maternal death. It is estimated that 10 to 20 per cent of maternal deaths are attributed to malaria. Approximately, 1 million people, most of them children, die every year in sub-Saharan Africa from malaria or malaria-related illnesses.


Malaria is a major health problem in Kenya with a disproportionate effect on the poor, pregnant women and children under five. Over 70 per cent of Kenya’s population, or over 27 million with a general population of 39million people, are at risk of malaria, 75 per cent of who live in rural areas. This was recognized in the formulation of the revised National Malaria Strategy (NMS 2009–2018), with a goal to reduce morbidity and mortality caused by malaria in the various epidemiological zones by two-thirds of the 2007–2008 level by 2018. Achievement of this ambitious goal is pegged to implementation of the objectives, strategies, and activities that are detailed in the NMS strategy.


Progress in achievement of the NMS 2009–2018 goal is measured primarily through the use of routine malaria mortality and morbidity surveillance data obtained from the Division of Health Management and Information Systems. Based on this data, malaria remains one of the most commonly diagnosed ailments in out-patient departments in Kenya.


Objective one of the NMS states that by 2013, at least 80 per cent of people living in malaria risk areas will be using  appropriate malaria prevention interventions, through achieving universal distribution of LLINs through appropriate channels. There are 3 methods of net distribution in Kenya which include free routine net distributions targeting pregnant mothers and children under 1 year old within clinics, mass net distribution that target universal coverage (1 net per 2 people) and social marketed nets. More than 30 million ITNs and LLINs were distributed between 2008 and October 2014 through the ANC/CWC clinics, social marketing as well as mass net distribution. 

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