ANGOLA – The United Nations injected a sum of US$103.2 million into Angola’s health system for the period 2021-2024, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Angolan Health Ministry said in a joint statement.

According to the statement, the new global fund will pay to combat malaria, HIV and tuberculosis, especially in the southern provinces of Benguela and Cuanza Sul.

With regard to malaria, the fund aims to reduce the number of deaths from 26 to 19 per 100 inhabitants, ensure at least 90 percent of the population in the two provinces use long-lasting insecticidal nets, and make sure all suspected cases are tested and treated.

Angola is among the ten countries with the highest number of malaria cases and deaths (3% of the global cases and deaths) according to statistics published the National Malaria Control Program.

Between 2016 and 2019, there was a 14.4% increase in malaria cases from 205 to 235 cases per 1000 of the at-risk population.

For HIV, the aim is to maintain the prevalence rate at around 1.1 percent in the general population and reduce the percentage of new infections in children of HIV-positive mothers to 4 percent by 2023.

In 2019, Angola had an estimated HIV prevalence of 2.0% in people aged between 15 and 49, according to the Multiple Health Indicators Survey (2015-16), which gives an estimated 310,000 people living with HIV in the country.

As for tuberculosis, the goal is to reduce the incidence rate from 355 to 320 per 100,000 inhabitants and the mortality rate to 40 per 100,000 inhabitants by 2023.

In 2019, incidence of tuberculosis for Angola was 351 cases per 100,000 people. Incidence of tuberculosis of Angola increased from 297 cases per 100,000 people in 2000 to 351 cases per 100,000 people in 2019 growing at an average annual rate of 0.91%.

The grant also aims to reduce the number of new infections among vulnerable populations and increase antiretroviral treatment coverage.

According to the note, the funding will also cover support services to combat COVID-19, such as the provision of personal protective equipment for health workers, community services, tests and other diagnostic products and oxygen equipment for severe cases.

Kenya unveils rapid malaria diagnostic kit

This funding comes as Kenya unveils the first locally manufactured malaria rapid diagnostic kit as it moves to adopt new technologies in the fight against the killer disease.

The rapid diagnostic kit was unveiled by President Uhuru Kenyatta, in the company of Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe and Acting Director General of health Dr. Patrick Amoth, at the KEMRI-Welcome Trust Research Program in Kilifi County.

In Kenya, there are an estimated 3.5 million new clinical cases and 10,700 deaths each year, and those living in western Kenya have an especially high risk of malaria according to CDC.

Speaking at the ceremony, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said the latest development is part of ongoing efforts by the government to realize a malaria free Kenya.

“Using this technology, it will now be easier to get to previously hard to reach areas as well as cover expansive mosquito breeding sites,” observed the CS.

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