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Malaria is preventable and treatable and yet remains the biggest threat to families’ health in Uganda.

Malaria is the primary cause of morbidity in the country and a major health problem, with 88 percent of the population living in moderate to highly endemic areas. The disease is responsible for 30-50 percent of outpatient attendances  and for 25-30 percent of childhood deaths. It represents a heavy burden for the health system and for families, around 25 percent of their income being lost to malaria, in terms of loss of earning potential as well as income spent directly on treatment.

In recent years, advances have been made in the country in improving equipment, supply chain management, staffing norms and training regarding the new malaria treatment policy. However, access to essential services and the quality of available care remain below national targets with significant gaps in the implementation of the national health sector strategy and the practices at health facilities.


The Pioneer Project operates in 5 districts in mid-western Uganda, in some of Uganda's poorest and most remote communities where the need for malaria prevention measures is extremely high. 

Whilst some parts of the country have achieved both improved levels of access to health care and coverage of prevention measures, in western Uganda progress has been limited. Malaria accounts for almost a quarter of deaths of children under five in the region (approximately 23 percent). This is partly due to the moderate to high transmission rates in the region, but is made worse by key issues in the health system and a lack of investment in resources in the region. The region had not been included in previous LLIN distribution campaigns and had some of the lowest coverage rates in the country. The availability of LLINs was extremely limited: there was no routine distribution through health facilities and the role of the commercial sector remains extremely limited with the majority of the population unable to access it, being too far away or too poor or mostly both.

Malaria Consortium and the Ugandan Ministry of Health selected the mid-western region for the Pioneer project based on the results of a survey of health indicators, health services coverage, intervention coverage and existing support from donor projects. The survey showed that need in this region was particularly high:

Sources: Uganda Malaria Indicator Survey 2009; Uganda Service Provision Assessment Survey 2007

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