| 2001-2010 United Nations Decade to Roll Back Malaria|
RBM and complex emergencies
AT LEAST a million deaths from malaria occur worldwide each
year—90% of them in Africa, south of the Sahara. Up to 30% of
Africa's malaria deaths are in countries undergoing complex
emergencies-situations in which war, civil strife, food shortages
and displacement affect large civilian populations. Today, over 120
million people in Africa alone are living in countries affected by
Malaria deaths during these events usually far exceed those
caused by the conflict at the root of the emergency itself. The
chaos, which follows war or civil unrest, can destroy health
systems, cut food supplies and expose people to multiple
infections. Poor living conditions in temporary camps and war-affected
towns can increase both vector and water born disease
transmission, eroding an individual's immune system.
The RBM Secretariat and its Technical Support Network on
Complex Emergencies are helping countries deal with complex
emergencies by mobilizing NGOs and other emergency partners,
training and equipping them and providing technical support to
increase their capacity to respond quickly and effectively to
emergency situations. Key activities include:
- Developing new tools. Insecticide-treated plastic sheeting is
currently undergoing field trials in Angola and Pakistan. The
sheeting, designed to provide shelter in refugee camps, is also an
innovative tool—for use when ITNs are unavailable—to protect
people from mosquitoes and other insects that transmit disease.
Sufficient material to shelter six people costs about US$5.
- Producing and distributing an emergencies handbook. RBM has
surveyed and evaluated existing best practices, new approaches
and instructional materials for managing malaria in emergencies.
RBM has selected the most effective of these and the new
handbook will be provided to all emergency agencies.
- Creating and maintaining a malaria database on 30 emergency-affected
- Undertaking operational research into emergency management.
Topics under investigation include evaluating drug regimes for use
- Increasing the direct capacity of agencies on the ground to
respond to emergencies. New training courses, including an
intensive field course conducted three times a year in emergency
countries, will help agencies assess their needs, plan effective
responses, implement prevention programmes, manage cases and
undertake their own field research to improve the impact of their
- Providing technical support. Since some emergencies—such as
civil war—can last to provide long and short-term staff to provide field support to partners working in affected
countries. Full-time staff are already working in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo, Liberia and south Sudan. This network of
technical expertise will assist agencies on the ground to assess and
evaluate situations and plan and implement their response. During
2000-2001, RBM's complex emergencies team was involved in
Angola, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea,
Liberia, Somalia and south Sudan. The team also worked with
Burundi and Congolese refugees living in camps in the United
Republic of Tanzania.
|Roll Back Malaria is a global partnership initiated by WHO, UNDP, UNICEF and the World Bank in 1998. It seeks to work with governments, other development agencies, NGOs, and private sector companies to reduce the human and socio-economic costs of malaria.|
||Roll Back Malaria, World Health Organization, 20 Avenue Appia, CH-1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland
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