Zero Malaria Starts with Me!
Humana People to People joins the world in marking World Malaria Day on the 25th of April 2019. The commemoration is being held under the theme 'Zero Malaria Starts with Me'.
After more than a decade of steady advances in fighting malaria, progress has levelled off. According to World Health Organisation’s latest World malaria report, no significant gains were made in reducing malaria cases in the period 2015 to 2017. The estimated number of malaria deaths in 2017, at 435,000, remained virtually unchanged over the previous year.
Every two minutes, a child dies of malaria - a preventable and treatable disease. And each year, more than 200 million new cases of malaria are reported. The damage inflicted extends beyond loss of human life: malaria takes a heavy toll on health systems, sapping productivity and eroding economic growth. Investing in universal health care is the best way to ensure, all communities have access to the services they need to beat malaria. Individual and community empowerment through community driven initiatives supporting the call-to-action for “Zero malaria starts with me” can play a critical role in building the right momentum.
Urgent action is needed to get the global response to malaria back on track and ownership of the challenge lies in the hands of countries most affected by malaria. The new approach to fighting malaria must be based on political will, strategic information, better guidance and support, coordinated national response, and community based campaigns.
Humana People to People is engaged in fighting malaria in some of the malaria high burden countries of southern Africa. Humana People to People members present in Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia and South Africa are working closely with national ministry of health and communities in taking actions at reducing malaria cases through people-led initiatives. Recently, a malaria multi-country initiative was implemented in border crossing points through community mobilization for malaria prevention, undertaking malaria testing and treatment. Cross border malaria initiatives has proven to give good results, as migrating populations are at risk both for contracting malaria and for spreading it.
The programme provided malaria testing, malaria treatment and malaria tracking services. Malaria posts for diagnosis and treatment were set up in targeted communities and outreach activities were done for the high prevalence communities. To generate demand for the posts the programme conducted door-to-door campaigns in the communities performed by trained community health workers and held monthly malaria testing initiatives.
The community members received malaria awareness information supporting communities to take action to counter malaria prevalence. School teachers, students, community activists and volunteers were trained to be malaria advocacy experts. The trained individuals continue working in their local communities as they mobilise individuals for malaria prevention, organise anti-malaria campaigns, and undertake home visits intended to reach children, pregnant women, and the general population.