Kenyan leader urges enhanced fight against malaria in Africa

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NAIROBI, July 22 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday called for the intensified fight against malaria and other diseases ravaging Africa even as the continent tackles COVID-19.

Kenyatta called for more collaboration between the government and the private sector in research, local manufacture and marketing of health products so as to create jobs and grow the economy.

Kenyatta who spoke at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI)-Wellcome Trust Station in the coastal Kilifi County where he launched the first locally manufactured malaria rapid diagnostics kit developed by the institute called for collaboration of African countries in the fight against malaria, noting that no single country can eradicate the disease on its own.

Kenyatta, who also announced the World Health Organization's (WHO) pre-qualification of Kenya's first locally made anti-malaria drug, said the country had intensified its fight against the disease by enlisting the support of young people through the Kenya Malaria Youth Army.

Kenyatta, who is the current Chairman of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), hailed KEMRI for its leading role in the fight against malaria in Kenya, and challenged the research institution to continue innovating technology-driven methods of defeating the vector-borne disease.

"We have a good number of diseases that we still have to overcome and we are here to overcome that. Even as we continue to partner with you (KEMRI) on COVID-19 work, let us not lose focus on the other areas that you have been working very hard on," he said.

Kenyatta said Kenya has recognized that it's not going to be possible to defeat malaria unless it works together with neighboring countries. Enditem

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