by Aida Olkkonen and Sarah Whitmarsh
April 25, 2011
URC is contributing to the global effort to reduce malaria deaths to zero by 2015 by scaling up best practices in malaria control and bringing together malaria control partners in countries across Asia and Africa. Working in collaboration with national governments, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and communities, URC is addressing the barriers to universal access to prevention and case management and making it possible for women, men, and children to protect themselves and quickly access quality care when needed.
The Malaria Control in Cambodia (MCC) project, funded by the USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia, is a community-based malaria control and prevention project that aims to reduce malaria in the western part of Cambodia, home to drug-resistant malaria. During two years of operation, the number of severe malaria cases and the malaria case fatality rate have dropped significantly, thanks to the multi-pronged approach adopted by the project and the strong support of the National Malaria Control Program. Policy level changes, such as improving the logistics system for rapid diagnostic tests, have been complemented by improved diagnosis and treatment at health facilities, and a strengthened network of Village Malaria Workers (VMWs) who are able to reach the most vulnerable populations, including mobile workers and migrants. VMWs have also become involved in community level surveillance to detect multi-drug resistant malaria, which threatens the entire region.
Through the Projet Intégré de Santé Familiale (Integrated Family Health Project), or PISAF, URC has also helped to build capacity and strengthen services for the prevention and treatment of malaria in Benin. PISAF provides intermittent preventive treatment for pregnant women and improves treatment of simple and severe malaria by training public and private providers and strengthening formative supervision. As part of a national campaign sponsored by the Ministry of Health, USAID, the World Bank, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization (WHO), URC oversaw distribution of over 200,000 long-lasting insecticide-treated nets in Zou-Collines.
As part of the President’s Malaria Initiative, URC’s Promoting Malaria Prevention and Treatment (ProMPT) project works with the Ghana’s Malaria Control Program and other PMI partners to strengthen malaria prevention and control and to scale up successful malaria interventions. In collaboration with the Malaria Consortium and the Population Council, the project strengthens community involvement in malaria prevention and care by supporting local non-governmental organizations and faith-based organizations at the grassroots level. ProMPT is working towards a more effective bed net distribution mechanism; improved provider competence with interventions and case management for malaria in pregnancy; more integrated behavior change and communication activities; and more comprehensive monitoring and evaluation of programs.