The Power of EveryONE: Kenya’s unified fight against malaria

The Zero Malaria Campaign Coalition (ZMCC), in collaboration with Kenya’s National Malaria Control Program, has launched a transformative initiative to combat malaria.

Dubbed “The Power of EveryONE,” this campaign empowers every Kenyan to contribute to the national goal of zero malaria, marking a significant milestone in the fight against this deadly disease.

The campaign was unveiled at Afrika House in Karen, Nairobi, where attendees were immersed in the essence of this drive to tackle malaria disease which records show claimed about 12,000 lives in 2022.

Developed through extensive community engagement and collaboration with partners, “The Power of EveryONE” campaign puts the spotlight on individuals from target communities, showcasing them as champions in the fight against malaria.

By highlighting the role of each person, the campaign illustrates how collective efforts can lead to the eradication of malaria. Kenya has made great strides in fighting malaria with the prevalence of malaria, reducing from 11.2 percent in 2010 to 6 percent in 2020. Kenya seeks to be malaria free by 2030.

Since its inception in April 2022, the ZMCC has been instrumental in driving sustainable change by uniting key stakeholders across sectors to raise awareness and inspire action towards zero malaria.

“The Power of EveryONE” campaign is a culmination of these efforts, instilling a belief that everyone can contribute to ending malaria in Kenya.

Encouraging behaviour change

This nationwide campaign is complemented by localized versions aimed at increasing awareness and encouraging behavior change, particularly in the endemic regions of Kakamega, Kilifi, and Kisumu.

Malaria remains a significant public health challenge in Kenya, with millions at risk annually. A total of 3.4 million cases were reported in Kenya’s public hospitals in 2022.

Through “The Power of EveryONE,” individuals are empowered to act, lend their voices, and prevent and treat malaria, ultimately saving lives.

Dr. Joseph Lenai, the Director for Preventive & Promotive Health, Ministry of Health, emphasized the government’s commitment to combat malaria. He stated, “By harnessing the collective efforts of the government, partners, and communities, we are confident that we can significantly reduce, if not eliminate, the incidence of malaria, especially in the most affected regions.”

Kenya has made substantial progress in reducing malaria prevalence, particularly among children under five, where prevalence dropped by a quarter from 2015 to 2020.

Liz Ntonjira, Co-Chair of ZMCC, highlighted the campaign’s goal to elevate the conversation around malaria and inspire action across all sectors of society.

She highlighted that knowledge and understanding of malaria are critical for behavior change and for achieving a malaria-free Kenya.

Read also:  WHO thumbs-up budget-friendly, high-impact malaria jab

Support of local influencers

The campaign’s creative elements were developed by Dentsu Creative, Kenya, with a focus on engaging local communities. Chris Madison, Group CEO of Dentsu Creative, stressed on the collective effort required to combat malaria, stating, “With our collective efforts and innovative approaches, we’re not just aiming for zero malaria; we’re paving the way for a healthier, empowered world.”

To reach a wider audience, the campaign has enlisted the support of local influencers such as Abel Mutua, Yvonne Okwara, the Malaria Youth Corps, and Sauti Sol.

Abel Mutua, a ZMCC Ambassador, expressed his pride in being part of the campaign and encouraged everyone to play their part in eradicating malaria.

Central to the campaign is the engagement of youth, who are crucial in driving change. The campaign aims to generate widespread awareness and belief that everyone has a role to play in ending malaria in Kenya.

By emphasizing individual and collective action, the campaign underscores the role every Kenyan must play, regardless of age, location, or occupation.

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