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Malaria

The problem | The solution | Our approach


Malaria Kills

Malaria is one of the leading causes of death and morbidity worldwide, especially in the developing world. Malaria is an infectious disease that, despite being preventable and treatable, threatens the lives of 3.4 billion people around the world. Every year the disease accounts for approximately 660,000 deaths, the majority of which are in sub-Saharan Africa where a child dies every minute from malaria. Pregnant women and children under five years of age are especially vulnerable – high maternal mortality, low birth weight and maternal anaemia are other consequences of this devastating disease.

In 2013, there were 97 countries that had some degree of malaria transmission. The toll on children under five has been especially devastating, accounting for 77 percent of all malaria deaths.

Despite massive progress in fighting malaria in the past decade, the parasite that causes the disease has evolved and become more difficult to treat in some parts of Asia. Growing parasite resistance to artemisinin, the key ingredient of the most effective treatment currently available for malaria, poses a great challenge to malaria control. That is why it is imperative to maintain high levels of funding to contain the spread of the resistant parasite to Africa where it could reverse the present downward trend and lead to large scale epidemics in populations no longer fully immune to the disease. 


The Solution

Malaria imposes an enormous cost on already stretched public health services and economies, yet it is entirely preventable and treatable with a combination of available tools and sustained financing. A comprehensive approach to malaria control, that includes protective insecticide treated nets, indoor spraying with insecticide, preventive treatment for pregnant women, diagnostic tests, effective drugs, education, surveillance, research and advocacy, will successfully continue to reduce the burden of the disease and control its spread. Intensive efforts will potentially lead to the elimination and finally the eradication of the disease.  

Read more about malaria prevention and treatment.




Our Approach
 
Since 2003, Malaria Consortium has been fighting malaria in countries across Africa and Asia, in partnership with communities, government and non-government organisations. In our work on malaria, we focus especially on providing technical and operational support for national malaria control programmes. This includes supporting the distribution and improved use of long lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs)   containing the spread of drug resistance, improving case management of malaria at community and health facility levels, strengthening and improving capacity for surveillance and monitoring of the disease, and carrying out operational research to ensure that solid evidence supports effective delivery of services through strengthened health systems.  
  • Technical support for national malaria control programmes: We help governments in various stages of malaria control to increase their capacity and accomplish their goals by providing expertise, resources and strategic planning.
  • Containing the spread of drug resistance: Our Asia programme is dedicated to eliminating the threat of artemisinin drug resistance and eliminating malaria by improving capacity for surveillance and monitoring, providing effective and timely treatment, and ensuring best practice through behaviour change communication projects.
  • Providing integrated community case management (iCCM): In an effort to create sustainable and accessible lasting healthcare for remote populations, Malaria Consortium provides training and resources for community based health workers, focusing on building their skills to diagnose and treat malaria accurately, and building their capacity to manage other common childhood diseases – pneumonia and diarrhoea - to create a more integrated approach to care in the community. In some contexts, Malaria Consortium integrates nutrition interventions – as malnutrition is both a risk factor for and a consequence of malaria and other infectious diseases.  
  • Improving capacity for surveillance and monitoring: In order to track the spread of the disease, Malaria Consortium implements innovative solutions and technologies to identify and treat cases of malaria. Our Beyond Garki operational research project, currently being carried out in Ethiopia, Uganda and Cambodia (and soon Nigeria), aims to understand what the impact has been of any and all malaria control interventions in a particular area. In an elimination setting disease surveillance is of increasing importance – Malaria Consortium has introduced several innovative pilots such as community health worker SMS messaging in Cambodia for case identification and mapping and cross-border surveillance of migrant workers.
  • Carrying out operational research: We carry out a wide range of operational research studies through our own implementation activities as well as with partners, including supporting national baseline and indicator surveys, and national external reviews of malaria control. We frequently conduct surveys looking at knowledge, perceptions and behaviour related to use of malaria preventive commodities in the populations that we serve. We also engage in policy analysis and development at a global and regional level, based on evidence from country programmes.
  • Implementing behaviour change communication (BCC) interventions: An essential element of our work at community level is to create awareness and increase usage of community-based health services among the target populations and to strengthen their capacity to manage their own health and make informed decisions. We have organised community dialogues in areas where we work in addition to piloting innovate projects such as our positive deviance project, which seeks to highlight health-seeking behaviours within communities. 

Malaria

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