Take “holistic approach to malaria prevention, control”: Catholic Priest in Sierra Leone

Credit: Fr. Peter Konteh/Facebook

The control and prevention of malaria require “a holistic approach”, including scientitific research, the Executive Director of Caritas Freetown in Sierra Leone has said. 

In a message published on his Facebook page on the occasion of World Malaria Day 2023, Fr. Peter Konteh says malaria has “devastating” effects on individuals, families, and the community at large, and calls for collaboration from various stakeholders.

“By working together and taking a holistic approach to malaria prevention and control, we can achieve the goal of zero malaria and create a healthier future for all,” Fr. Konteh says.

The award-winning Catholic Priest emphasizes the need for “innovation” through empirical research to eliminate malaria.

“Innovation is also crucial in the fight against malaria, and we urge the scientific community to continue researching and developing new tools and approaches that can help in the prevention and elimination of malaria,” he says.


In his message on the occasion of World Malaria Day, Fr. Konteh goes on to “call on all stakeholders, including governments, civil society organizations, and the private sector, to work together in investing in malaria prevention and control measures, such as the distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets, indoor residual spraying, and timely diagnosis and treatment of malaria cases.”

World Malaria Day has been observed annually since 25 April 2008. The World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO), declared April 25 as the date for the annual observance of World Malaria Day.

This year's World Malaria Day has been observed under the theme, “Time to deliver zero malaria: invest, innovate, implement”

Meanwhile, in a separate message published ahead of the nation’s 61st independence anniversary to be celebrated Thursday, April 27, Fr. Konteh has called on the people of God in the West African nation to embrace each other’s differences and strive for peace. 

The Executive Director of Caritas Freetown also urges Sierra Leoneans to contribute positively to the growth of the nation by fostering unity in diversity.

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“Let us never allow division, hatred, or politics to tear us apart. Our nation has faced challenges in the past, but we have always come through stronger when we stand united. Let us never allow violence to take over our country,” Fr. Konteh says in his Wednesday, April 26 message.

He adds that Sierra Leoneans “must strive for peace and harmony, respecting each other's differences and embracing inclusivity in all our development plans.”

Fr. Konteh acknowledges the value of unity in diversity in the West African nation, saying, “Our diversity is our strength, and together, we can achieve greatness.”

“As we approach our Independence Day in just two days, it is a time for serious reflection. It is a moment for each and every one of us to take up the full responsibilities and duties of being citizens of our beloved country. Sierra Leone is our home, and its destiny lies in our hands,” says Fr. Konteh.

He adds that it is the duty of every Sierra Leonean “to contribute positively to our country's development, be it through education, entrepreneurship, community service, or civic engagement.” 


“We have been blessed with a beautiful country and are all beautiful people. Let us cherish our nation and work towards its growth and prosperity. It is our duty. Each one of us has a role to play in building a brighter future for Sierra Leone,” the Catholic Priest says. 

He continues, “As we conclude with the last stanza of our national anthem, let us remember the words: ‘Land that we love, our Sierra Leone.’ We must love ourselves and our country deeply and passionately.’

“Let us strive for the betterment of our nation with unwavering dedication and commitment,” Fr. Konteh says.

“On this Independence Day, let us come together as one people, regardless of our differences, and celebrate the unity and diversity that make Sierra Leone special. Let us reaffirm our commitment to our country and pledge to work towards its progress with sincerity and diligence,” the Sierra Leonean Catholic Priest says.

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.