Forum Focuses on Collaborative Efforts to Fight Malaria in Kenya
The second Kenya National Malaria Forum took place October 2014 in Nairobi. Over 250 government officials, researchers, academics, county health executives, and industry stakeholders involved in malaria and health attended the official opening ceremony.
MEASURE Evaluation PIMA, an associate award of the USAID-funded MEASURE Evaluation project, served as the forum’s main facilitator. MEASURE Evaluation PIMA assists with the development and strengthening of monitoring and evaluation systems in Kenya.
The forum took place under the planning and guidance of a steering committee formed by Kenya’s Malaria Control Unit. Committee members included the World Health Organization, the President's Malaria Initiative, the Malaria Control and Elimination Partnership in Africa, UNICEF, and the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI). MEASURE Evaluation PIMA provided technical assistance through all stages of planning and executing the forum.
Themed “Malaria Control in Devolved Kenya: Sustaining Gains towards Pre-elimination,” the forum addressed malaria control under Kenya’s devolved system of governance, established under the new constitution in 2010. The forum was the first of its kind held since county governments assumed responsibility for implementing malaria control activities, with the national government providing technical support.
During plenary and concurrent sessions, key developments in malaria vaccines, epidemic preparedness and response, and social mobilization methods were discussed. Experts presented on innovative approaches to tackle malaria, including the use of mobile phones, and shared communication methods to provide at-risk populations with malaria information.
The forum also provided a platform for county representatives to interact with researchers and policy makers at the national level. “To become a malaria-free nation, we have to double our efforts, in both strategy development and policy implementation,” said Dr. Waqo Ejersa, head of the Malaria Control Unit at the Ministry of Health. “We have to fight it together.”
The second Kenya National Malaria Forum ended with the promise to confront the dangers of malaria in the country by boosting collaborative efforts between the counties and the national government.