Highlights from the 2017 World Malaria Day
On 25 April, 2017, 11 members of the MRT malaria team successfully participated in the World Malaria Day celebration held at the National Malaria Elimination Center in Lusaka.
As Macha Research Trust (MRT ) we were able to disseminate some of our study findings through poster displays as well as demonstrations of our research capacity as an institution. We were honored to have the minister tour our stand and he reaffirmed his desire to pay MRT a visit as he had heard a lot about the work that was being done there.
Aside from commemorating the day the event also served to launch the re-branded National Malaria Control Center into a National Malaria Elimination Center. It also served as a launch of the National Elimination Strategic Plan and Insecticide Treated Net (ITN) mass distribution.
The Honorable Minister of Health, Dr Chitalu Chilufya visiting the MRT Kiosk
UN Resident Coordinator, Janet Rogan, pointed out that the rate of new malaria infections between 2010 and 2016 was at 20%. She commended the Zambian government for the strides made in malaria control and the importance of prevention if elimination is to be achieved. She also commended the government for the increase allocation funds resulting in 60% coverage by ITNs, 40% IRS coverage and 50% reduction in reported incidence and mortality. She also recommended arial sprayiny in Lusaka to further reduce the Malaria incidence. She concluded by calling on individual participation, responsibility and combined effort in the elimination of Malaria.
In the speech given by the US Ambassadors representative Christopher Kraft, it was reported that according eleventh Presidential Malaria Initiative (PMI) report, Zambia had seen a 55% reduction of malaria in under five children with a total of 201M dollars PMI funds being used to procure 8 Million ITNs, 20Million RDTs, 60Million IRS as well as train 1600 Community Health Workers (CHW). One Community Health Worker’s, Musongo, Mirriam Chisamba‘s, contribution was particularly noted as a model for CHW.
In the speech read on behalf of the President the Minister of Health reaffirmed the theme (Global -end Malaria for good, adapted-Malaria ends with me) by pointing out that newly launched National Malaria Elimination Strategic plan which would help eliminate malaria using the following steps:
Increase vector control
Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS)
- By conducting IRS to scale (100% coverage)
- Use of DDT where it can work
- Use innovation to control cost of IRS by leveraging institutions such as schools
- Prompt procurement of IRS materials
- Increase to two cycles one in September 2017 followed by another in March 2018
Insecticide treated Nets (ITN)
- By increasing ITN coverage
- 10.2 Million ITNs (26M dollars) to be distributed Distribution through schools and public places
Malaria Case Management
- Increase human resource for diagnosis at not only at tertiary level
Mass Drug Administration (MDA)
- In selected places –southern Province and Lunga district
Malaria in Pregnancy (MIP)
- Increase access to high risk individuals with Intermittent Preventative Treatment ( ITP) and Antenatal care (ANC)
Vector Control -Larval Source Management
Malaria Elimination officers
- At districts and Sub-district level
- To work with other districts officer and supervisors CHW
Commissioned the Molecular lab at NMEC
He acknowledge the importance of working with partners such as MACEPA and Macha Research Trust in ensuring implementation of evidence based policies.
He concluded by stating that the Zambians government’s plan is to have evidence for elimination of Malaria by 2018 and to achieve elimination by 2021.