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Volda Lawrence, M.P.,

Minister of Public Health 

MALARIA remains a public-health concern globally. Therefore the theme for this year, ‘End malaria for Good, Let’s boost Prevention’ is timely.

The 2016 Malaria World Report presented a global tally of malaria peaking 212 million cases and 429,000 deaths. The report spotlighted a number of positive trends, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, the region with the heaviest malaria burden. It shows that, in many countries, access to disease-cutting tools is expanding at a rapid rate for those most in need.

In many countries however, progress is threatened by the rapid development and spread of mosquito-resistance to insecticides. Anti-malarial drug resistance can also jeopardise the recent gains some countries have made.

In 2015, the World Health Assembly endorsed the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030. This is a 15-year malaria framework for all countries working to control and eliminate malaria.

At the half-way point the international community has maintained its commitment to decreasing the burden of malaria throughout the world through the Regional Strategy and Plan of Action in the Americas 2011-2015. This dedication is also highlighted in the Framework for Artemisinin Resistance Prevention, Containment and Elimination in South America; and, in striving to meet targets set under the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.

Guyana has not backed down form it global responsibilities and likewise, renews its commitment towards controlling the spread of malaria in the country.

Between 2014 and 2016, there has been a steady decrease in the incidence of malaria in Guyana with the total confirmed cases tallying 10,165 in 2016. However, we cannot afford to become complacent as persons are still dying of this scourge in our beloved country.

A National Strategic Plan (NSP) 2015-2020 for the malaria programme in Guyana has been drafted with the intention of optimising and building upon the lessons learned from previous periods and recent years of program implementation.

Furthermore, the strategic plan seeks to lay out the foundation for eliminating the local transmission of the disease in low endemic regions of Guyana. The National Malaria Programme Strategic Plan has outlined as a goal/objective under Strategic Priority Four (4) the need to optimise the distribution and use of Long Lasting Insecticide Nets (LLINs) in malaria affected communities, mainly in Regions 1 (Barima /Waini); 7 (Cuyuni/Mazaruni), 8 (Potaro/Siparuni) and 9 (Upper Takutu/Upper Essequibo).

This would be achieved through mass distribution of LLINs to be held every three (3) years in Guyana commencing this year and continuous net distributions in health facilities across this nation. These distributions will be supported with an Information Education and Communication (IEC) campaign in response to the challenge of having limited access to and use of this important malaria prevention tool in the country.

Last year, some 10,000 nets were distributed through health facilities across the ten (10) administrative regions. We hope that this number will be surpassed this year as the Government of Guyana has allocated G$85M in the 2017 fiscal estimates for the procurement of LLINs to facilitate the roll out of the mass distribution of LLINs.

The Ministry of Public Health wishes to take this opportunity to thank its partners in the fight against the bite, namely the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) for its continued technical support to the malaria programme and the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria.

The Government of Guyana along with its International Partners and Donor Agencies cannot do it alone. We count on the involvement of each citizen of our beloved country to join us in eliminating mosquito-breeding sites, especially around mining and logging camps.

As such we urge you to use mosquito repellants or coils to protect yourself and family. We ask you to place all garbage in covered bins and clean up your surroundings to destroy mosquito-breeding sites.

Remember to put mosquito (fine) mesh over windows and window spaces and wear protective clothing in malaria endemic areas. Most importantly, sleep under mosquito bed or hammock nets to prevent mosquitoes from biting. Nets treated with insecticide, like the ones provided free-of-cost by the Government of Guyana are the best.

Together, let’s end malaria for good by boosting prevention!

Featured Projects

Chronic Disease Control

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MISSION STATEMENT

To address the top four causes of premature death in Guyana: cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases, ensuring a multi-sectoral, integrated approach is maintained. Learn More

Mental Health Unit

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Mission Statement

To promote, coordinate and implement technical activities and actions directed towards strengthening the national capacity to develop policies, plans, programs and services, thus contributing to the promotion of mental health, the reduction of the burden of the psychiatric diseases, prevention of disabilities, and the development of rehabilitation. Learn More 

Maternal and Child Health Unit

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Mission Statement

To ensure that women, children and family members obtain maximum health care that is necessary for their growth and development. Learn More

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