A medical expert of E-Health Africa, Dr. Dennis Marke, Wednesday, called for a collaborative effort to end the malaria scourge by 2030.
Marke who is also a clinician and the acting Programme Manager, National Malaria Control Programme in Sierra Leone, said there was a need to strengthen collaborative efforts to attain zero malaria by 2030.
This is contained in a statement he issued at the end of a webinar insight, organised by E-Health Africa.
According to him, as part of efforts and advocacy to achieve zero malaria by 2030, there is a need to intensify the adoption and deployment of digital health innovations.
This innovation of digital health is needed in the fight against malaria, especially in the African region.
“This is in line with the 2023 Malaria Day theme, “Time to deliver Zero Malaria: invest, innovate, implement.”
“To commemorate World Malaria Day 2023, the World Health Organisation has urged countries affected by malaria globally to accelerate the reach of high-impact tools and strategies to prevent, detect and treat malaria.
“This is with a focus on reaching the most vulnerable, ensuring that no one is left behind.”
Marke reiterated the need to strengthen public-private partnerships, to improve the fight against malaria through improved access to medical information, communication and health application on issues concerning malaria control.
He said that digital health tools had proven to be instrumental in the seemingly unending anti-malaria fight in the region.
According to him, mobile-based innovations, through SMS messages, have been between 70-80 per cent penetrations in Sierra Leone.
“The innovation has also been effective in reaching out to the population about the symptoms of Malaria and the need for testing.
“In the 2017 mass campaign, we used rocket pro mobile applications to track the supply of medical equipment and drugs at our peripheral health units.”
He also mentioned other forms of digital tools such as Solar Power Mosquito Trap, and district health information system, amongst others.
According to him, those tools have been instrumental in laboratory analysis, research, surveillance, and tracking of health interventions even in remote communities.
He, however, said that there might be challenges of internet connectivity in some hard-to-reach communities, thereby making marginalised communities not to be covered.
He, therefore, called for proper coordination in delivering digital health interventions, through effective mapping of digital health partners to identify their areas of strength.
This, according to him, will ensure unity of purpose and ensure all partners work towards achieving the overall goal of fighting against malaria.