Guyana taking community-based approach to eliminate malaria by 2030

A new approach will be taken to fight malaria in Guyana even as local health authorities are working hard to eradicate the mosquito borne illness by 2030.

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony on Monday joined health regional officials and health personnel in Bartica, Region Seven for an activity to observe World Malaria Day 2022 under the theme “Harness innovation to reduce the malaria disease burden and save lives.” 

Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony delivering his feature address at the observance of Malaria Day 2022 in Bartica.

Dr. Anthony explained that the new approach will see involvement at the community level, including early diagnosis and early treatment, prevention strategies and surveillance measures.

“This new approach of getting down to the community level is something that we feel holds a lot of promise, and that can actually make a change,” the health minister said, noting that it has been tried and proven to work in other countries.

Minister Anthony receives malaria treatment envelopes from the Breakthrough Action Guyana/USAID.

He said advocates are needed as each person has a role to play in eradicating the disease.

“There is always a need for us to have advocates, for us to have people who will go out there and enthuse the community, get them involved, get them worked up about this, that we want to make this change, we want to see things happening in our community. We want to eliminate malaria, and those persons we want to see as our ‘Champions for malaria in the community’,” the health minister said.

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He noted that while the health ministry has a national strategy to tackle the disease there will be regional interventions in places most affected such as Regions One, Seven, Eight, Nine and some parts of Region 10.

Cutting of the ribbon for the new Maternal and Child Health clinic at Bartica.

“We have updated our protocols, we have produced newer guidelines and we have distributed that and we are constantly upgrading the skills of our workforce to make sure that they understand how to do this, and what to do and to do it better, so that’s an ongoing process,” Dr. Anthony said.

Statistics from 2021 show that approximately 20,000 people tested positive for malaria in Guyana.

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