Accelerated Malaria Control Program [Archives:1998/49/Front Page]

December 7 1998

On December 1st, 1998, the Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah Abdul-Wali Nasher, unveiled a plan of an acceleration of malaria control program to be implemented during 1999. The minister invited representatives of donors to whom he presented his case. According to the plan, it will cost about YR one billion to reign in prevalence and outbreaks of malaria.
The minister had earlier appealed to the Yemeni government. He presented his plan at a cabinet meeting three weeks back, and was given an immediate allocation of YR 40 million. “We see this as an important positive step. It is badly needed seed money. We hope to raise more money locally and internationally,” the minister said.

A field survey by an Omani expert team during 5-23/11/1998 reported that 1,500,000 malaria cases occurred annually in the country. With a 1% fatality rate, that translates into 15,000 deaths every year from malaria alone. More ominously, the report indicated that 60% of the total population is under risk all year round because the people live in malaria endemic areas. Another 20% of the population lives in areas where malaria outbreaks are seasonal.

The job of “rolling back malaria” is a Herculean task. When the present minister of health took over in mid-1997, the grand total allocation of the malaria control program for the whole year was less than US$ 1,500. “So, we are now building from scratch,” Dr. Nasher stated.