New Report Shows Zambia is Making Progress Against Malaria
Focus on Zambia, a new country report launched at the second Parliamentary Forum on Malaria on June 14 in Lusaka, shows that Zambia's increased efforts to control malaria are generating concrete results. Authored by the Zambian Ministry of Health and produced by the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, the report finds that scaling up malaria interventions has saved the lives of an estimated 33,000 children under five since 2001, with overall child mortality dropping by 29% between 2001/2002 and 2007.
The Honorable Kapembwa Simbao, Minister of Health and former RBM chair, said that Zambia could be proud of its ambitious anti-malaria agenda and the benefits it had brought. "Zambians are healthier, school attendance has improved and a more productive workforce free from malaria now reports for work uninterrupted, thus contributing to the economic development of our nation."
As of 2010, 73% of households had at least one insecticide-treated net or had received indoor residual spraying – a 41% increase in household-level malaria prevention since 2006. Zambia has also expanded the number of health personnel trained to properly diagnose and treat malaria.
One sobering lesson from the report comes from three districts where coverage dropped between 2008 and 2010 due to funding shortages, leading to a resurgence in malaria cases. As Prof. Awa Coll-Seck, Executive Director of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership notes, "Zambia's experience is proof of the significant progress that can be made against malaria in a relatively short period of time, but it also illustrates the fragility those gains. The swift response of the Government of Zambia to mobilize funds to stamp out malaria in those districts is also part of its success story."
A preventable and treatable and disease, malaria remains a critical health issue in many parts of Africa , where it killed an estimated 709,000 people in 2009, mostly pregnant women and children under five. The disease accounts for 40% of government spending on public health and costs the continent an estimated US$ 12 billion yearly.
In recent years many African countries have stepped up efforts against malaria, with 11 African countries halving malaria deaths and cases in 2009. According to Prof Coll-Seck, "Zambia epitomizes a positive trend that is occurring throughout Africa. Countries like Zambia are investing in fighting malaria and are seeing the benefits, both in terms of financial savings and most importantly, in the health of their citizens."
The launch of the report in Lusaka was co-hosted by the Roll Back Malaria Partnership and the Zambian Ministry of Health.
For more information about the Focus on Zambia Report, please contact:
Ms Pauline Wumulume, Ministry of Health of Zambia, National Malaria Control Centre Phone: + 260 977 612 486
Carol Nicolls, Roll Back Malaria Partnership, Geneva, Switzerland Phone: +41 (0)79 476 70 47 firstname.lastname@example.org
The report is available online at: http://www.rollbackmalaria.org/ProgressImpactSeries/index.html
The Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership is the global framework for coordinated action against malaria. It provides a neutral platform for consensus-building and developing solutions to challenges in the implementation of malaria control interventions and strategies. RBM is a public-private partnership that also facilitates the incubation of new ideas and lends support to innovative approaches.
The Partnership promotes high-level political commitment and keeps malaria high on the global agenda by enabling, harmonizing and amplifying partner-driven advocacy initiatives. Founded by UNICEF, WHO, the World Bank and UNDP and strengthened by the expertise, resources and commitment of more than 500 partner organizations, the Partnership secures policy guidance and financial and technical support for control efforts in countries and monitors progress towards universal goals.
For more information please contact Pru Smith.
Phone: +41 22 791 4586