FIGHTING MALARIA WITH INSECTICIDE-TREATED NETS
More than 3.4 billion people (nearly half of the world’s population) are at risk of malaria. Globally in 2019, there were an estimated 229 million cases of malaria, and approximately 409,000 deaths. The majority of those who die from malaria are children under five years of age in Africa. Through great efforts over the last decades, the death toll has declined since 2000, in some countries dramatically, due to increased investment and improved operational strategies to deliver malaria control interventions – but these figures are still significant and more needs to be done.
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 17 per cent1. Since 2002 many countries, through the strong leadership of Ministries of Health, have successfully implemented large-scale campaigns to deliver over two billion ITNs to help reduce malaria cases and deaths.
THE CRITICAL MISSION OF THE ALLIANCE FOR MALARIA PREVENTION
The Alliance for Malaria Prevention was established in 2004. 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.
The Alliance responds to the need to rapidly reach and sustain universal coverage with ITNs. Within the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, AMP is a sub-workstream under the Country/Regional Support Partner Committee (CRSPC) and a member of the CRSPC’s steering committee. AMP is an alliance of more than 40 partners, including government, private sector, faith-based and humanitarian organizations. Our mission is to expand 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 WHO’s Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016—2030. AMP collaborates closely with other RBM work streams, specifically with the Vector Control Working Group (VCWG) and the Social and Behaviour Change Working Group on specific technical issues. AMP works with the CRSPC to ensure timely deployment of technical support under RBM funding.
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 vast 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.
1 Pryce J, Richardson M, Lengeler C. Insecticide-treated nets for preventing malaria. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2018, Issue 11. Art. No.: CD000363. https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD000363.pub3/full