FIGHTING MALARIA WITH LONG-LASTING INSECTICIDE-TREATED NETS
3.4 billion people (half of the world’s population) are at risk of malaria. In 2016, globally there were an estimated 216 million cases of malaria, and approximately 445,000 deaths. The majority of those who die from malaria are children under five years of age in Africa. While these figures are still significant, the death toll has declined, in some countries dramatically, due to increased investment and improved operational strategies to deliver malaria control interventions.
Sleeping under insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) provides protection from malaria-carrying mosquitoes and has been shown to reduce malaria incidence by 50 per cent and all-cause child mortality by 20 per cent. Since 2002 many countries, through the strong leadership of Ministries of Health, have successfully implemented large-scale campaigns to deliver over 700 million ITNs to help end malaria deaths.
THE CRITICAL ROLE OF THE ALLIANCE FOR MALARIA PREVENTION
The Alliance for Malaria Prevention responds to the need to rapidly reach and sustain universal coverage with ITNs. Within Roll Back Malaria, AMP is an alliance of more than 40 partners, including government, private sector, faith-based and humanitarian organizations. It is committed to expanding the ownership and use of ITNs which, along with timely diagnosis and effective treatment for malaria, is an essential component of the malaria control toolbox, and part of an integrated strategy to achieve malaria elimination as outlined in RBM’s Global Malaria Action Plan. AMP collaborates closely with other RBM work streams, specifically with the Vector Control Working Group (VCWG) on technical issues and the Harmonization Working Group (HWG) on scale up, technical support and funding issues.
AMP brings together country and international partners that support the delivery of ITNs through mass campaigns, as well as through continuous distribution. Mass distribution campaigns allow the rapid delivery of enormous quantities of ITNs to the entire population at risk for malaria over a very short period of time. They complement continuous distribution channels, such as delivering ITNs to pregnant women during antenatal visits, to children during vaccination sessions, to targeted households through their school-aged children, or through social marketing, community-based distribution or other delivery channels.
AMP partners assist and advocate for country-specific support to plan and implement ITN distribution, mass and continuous, and to mobilize resources should gaps in ITNs or operational costs occur.