Kenya will use drones in mapping out mosquito breeding sites as the country ramps up efforts to fight malaria disease.
The use of drones is one of the latest initiatives unveiled on Thursday by the Ministry of Health to mark Malaria Action Day in Mutondia, Kilifi County.
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said the drones will help in accessing hard-to-reach areas and cover expansive breeding sites such as the Kano plains in Kisumu or around the Mwea irrigation scheme in Kirinyaga.
“We are focused on larviciding so that we kill the mosquitoes before they breed. The drones are able to identify breeding sites and generate maps to guide action,” said Mr Kagwe.
The event was attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is the chair of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance through the Kenya Cuba Malaria Vector Control Project, is part of the efforts to fight malaria, improve maternal and child health, and expand access to universal health-care.
At the same time, the Head of State unveiled the first locally manufactured malaria rapid diagnostic kit as Kenya moves to adopt new technologies in the fight against the killer disease.
Speaking at the function, the President also announced the attainment of World Health Organization (WHO) pre-qualification for the first locally manufactured malaria medicine.
Mr Kenyatta had earlier flagged-off the Kenya Malaria Army and unveiled the Kenya-Cuba Malaria Vector Control Programme.
“Using this technology, it will now be easier to get to previously hard to reach areas as well as cover expansive mosquito breeding site, adding that malaria has remained a major health problem, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, where majority of fatalities are recorded,” noted Mr Kagwe.
Besides being the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Kenya, malaria is listed among the top ten causes of outpatient visits countrywide.
The disease prevalence, however, remains the highest in the Lake region that accounts for 70 per cent of the 6.5 million cases nationally.