World Malaria Day is on April 25, and this year’s theme is “End Malaria for Good.” The Hunger Project is joining the rest of the global community in honoring the day by raising awareness of the disease while also highlighting the progress we’ve made. The day devotes particular attention on how we can expand successful malaria prevention measures to reach everyone and eradicate malaria once and for all.
In 2015, malaria caused 429,000 deaths, and there were 212 million new cases. 90% of these cases were in Sub-Saharan Africa, which carries a disproportionately high share of the malaria burden. Children are particularly vulnerable, as malaria kills one child under five every two minutes.
However, both new malaria case rates and death rates are falling. Between 2010 and 2015, new malaria cases decreased by 21%, and death rates decreased by 29%. Effective malaria prevention measures, coupled with early diagnosis and treatment, are key to decreasing malarial infection and deaths.
Malaria can drain economic resources, while damaging the health and livelihoods of community members. That’s why, in Africa, The Hunger Project works closely with our community partners to support malaria prevention and, through epicenter health clinics, diagnostics and treatment.
The Hunger Project-Malawi has partnered with UNICEF, for example, to sell and distribute low-cost, effective insecticide-treated bednets. The Hunger Project-Senegal has partnered with IntraHealth to train community and healthcare workers to perform home visits, distribute bednets and host malaria and HIV/AIDS awareness-building discussions. By the end of 2016, 93% of people in households participating in the program slept under a bednet, and 90% of beds were covered.
Through these and other such partnerships, in 2016 alone, over 99,000 bednets were distributed to Hunger Project community partners throughout Africa!
In addition, at Hunger Project epicenters across Africa, trained animators create Health Committees, which operate a health clinic that tracks child and maternal health, provides malaria and tuberculosis prevention and treatment, offers nutrition education, administers medications and supplies and coordinates with government and local agencies to host medical staff. In 2016, more than 323,000 community partners accessed services at these health clinics.
Expanding access to these affordable, effective prevention measures is essential if we are to eradicate malaria once and for all. This World Malaria Day, join us in spreading awareness to help provide malaria prevention measures to everyone who needs it. And, together, let’s celebrate the incredible advances made by the global community!
Photo: Nurse at Kiringente Epicenter health clinic in Uganda (2012)
Learn more about World Malaria Day (World Health Organization)