[ Dr. Githuka George - Head: Division Of National Malaria Program ]
Malaria in Kenya remains a significant public health concern and is listed among the top 10 causes of outpatient visits in the country. Currently malaria accounts for 18 percent of all our outpatient visits in public health facilities. The burden of malaria in Kenya is not uniform with the highest-burden being in the eight counties around Lake Victoria region. This region accounts for 70% of the 6.5m malaria cases across the health care delivery sector. The most vulnerable populations are children below the age of five years and expectant women. The vision of Division of Malaria Control Programme is to have a malaria-free Kenya and the goal is to ensure a reduction of malaria incidence and deaths by 75% of the 2016 levels by 2023.
The Division Of National Malaria Programme, earlier known as the National Malaria Control Program was created by the Government of Kenya in 1994. The Division Of National Malaria Programme is now directly under the Division of Communicable Disease Prevention & Control, Department of Preventive and Promotive Health of the Ministry of Health in Kenya.
The program, currently headed by Dr. Githuka George charged with the responsibility of providing policy and strategic guidance as well as coordination and scaling up of an effective malaria control program. This scale-up is currently based on the Kenya Malaria Strategy 2019–2023 objectives and its component strategic approaches.
The DNMP consists of six units. They are as follows:
- Malaria Prevention
- Case Management
- Malaria elimination
- Socio behaviour change
- Surveillance Monitoring Evaluation and Operational Research (SMEOR)
- Program Management
These units are charged with the responsibility of implementing the various strategic objectives outlined in the Kenya Malaria Strategy
The role of the Division Of Malaria Control Malaria Control Program
The Division of National Malaria Control Programme has the overall responsibility of planning and coordination of inputs and activities for malaria control at all levels. In addition, it has the following specific roles:
- To play a leading role in defining and disseminating the Kenya Malaria Strategy and to set annual milestones for the implementation of the strategy.
- To be responsible for providing relevant links within the Ministry of Health and liaising with other Ministries, development partners, UN agencies and NGOs to coordinate actions and inputs.
- To develop a critical pool of resource persons at the sub-national level for capacity building in order to facilitate the implementation of the Revised KMS.
- To be the primary source of technical advice for the sub-national level. Information for this task is generated through the various technical working groups (TWGs). The technical working groups are constituted by the Ministry of Health to advise the DNMP and coordinate partners in specific components of the strategy.
- To identify areas for technical support and solicit the expertise available through the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) initiative via WHO/AFRO to support in capacity building.
- To participate in research, monitoring and evaluation of malaria activities.
The Malaria Health Sector Working Group
The Malaria Health Sector Working Group (MHSWG) is the national technical coordinating agency for the Division of National Malaria Control Programme.
The specific TORs for the Malaria Health Sector Working Group (MHSWG)
1. To advise and guide the Ministry of Health on malaria policy, strategies and priorities, including cross-border issues
2. To advise and support the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP), Ministry of Health (MOH) in mobilising resources for malaria control interventions
3. To advise and guide the NMCP and other implementing partners on the implementation of Kenya Malaria Strategy
4. To act as a forum for exchange of information on partners’ malaria control and research activities
5. To identify and advise on strategic areas for coordination at the county, national, and international levels
6. To define and review the output of committees of experts and sub-committees and take account of their findings in formulating advice and recommending action
7. To receive and review progress and performance reports against set targets
8. To identify problems and obstacles to implementation of malaria control activities and recommend solutions
9. To provide regular updates to the MOH on achievements and progress against objectives