Rwanda ,on the top among African's countries To Use Drones in The Fight Against Malaria

Rwanda ,on the top among African's countries   To Use Drones in The Fight Against Malaria

There are still 600,000 cases of the disease worldwide each year, although in Rwanda the number of cases of the disease continues to decline. This shows that there is still a great deal of work to be done to prevent Malaria and to continue to intensify measures to prevent and combat it in order to achieve the goal of eradicating it.

Statistics from the National Institutes of Health (RBC) show that between 2017 and 2021 [i.e. over the past five years] Rwanda has reduced the incidence of malaria by 76%. In 2021, there were 1.1 million malaria cases from 4.8 million in 2017.

Outbreaks appear to be exacerbated during the first half of this year, with 1,900 cases reported from 11,000 in 2017, with an 85% reduction. In terms of malaria deaths, 69 people were killed in 2021 while 706 in 2016, a decrease of 90 percent.

In 2017, at least 409 per 1,000 people were infected with malaria, while in 2021 there were 86 per 1,000 people. This shows that in five years the number of Rwandans suffering from malaria has decreased by 3.7 million due to measures including mosquito nets for the entire population, spraying of mosquito nets, bringing closer to the population, mobilizing the population to fight and prevent malaria, and more.

In early 2020, the Government of Rwanda launched the use of small drones to launch Larvicide that kills malaria and its eggs in swamps, ponds and other hiding places. 

The Insecticide is called "Bacillus Thuringiensis Israelensis" (BTI). They are Larvicide drugs, a type of insecticide that kills female mosquitoes that cause malaria. In this program, there are drones used to detect the presence of mosquito eggs and other chemicals to be used where they are detected.

Dr Mbituyumuremyi Aimable, Director of the National Malaria Control Program at RBC, said the use of drones was intended to kill mosquito eggs where they breed before they could grow out of the mosquitoes. It also protects the population from the disease that kills more than 500,000 Africans a year.

"The drones were used in a pilot program in Jabana Sector in Gasabo District, to see if they were productive. The results showed a significant reduction in mosquitoes in the area after spraying with drones," he said. This year the program will be expanded to six districts in support of other existing malaria prevention strategies, with the result that it will show the administration whether to expand to other areas.

Dr Mbituyumuremyi said the decline in malaria was due to a combination of strategies and capacity building for health counselors to diagnose, treat and provide anti-malarial drugs, where residents could be treated without having to go to a doctor.

Dr Mbituyumuremyi says that so far, health counselors have been treating malaria at 60% of the total number of patients, up from 52% in 2017. This means that patients have access to timely treatment and have been instrumental in reducing malaria deaths'.

Household mosquito repellents have been manufactured in homes in 15 districts of the country that are prone to malaria. Malaria is present in all 30 regions of Rwanda, but especially in Eastern Rwanda and the South, there are only 15 districts with more than 70% malaria in the whole country.

Providing mosquito nets to the general public is another important strategy in the fight against malaria. This year, the Rwandan government plans to provide eight million mosquito nets to continue to prevent and fight malaria.

The sixth study on health and well-being released at the end of last year found that households with medicinal mosquito nets fell from 84% in 2014-2015 to 66% in was found that 34% of households in Rwanda do not own mosquito nets, but also that most of the households that have them are in the cities as they are specific to 76%, while rural households that have mosquito nets account for 64% of the number of households identified by research.

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