News / Health

West Africa Charts Progress In Malaria Prevention

TEXT SIZE - +
Kate Thomas

Millions of mosquito nets are being distributed across West Africa to further increase access to malaria prevention by the end of the year.

Amid growing evidence that increased use of mosquito nets is leading to a reduction in the spread of malaria across West Africa, many countries in the region are implementing large-scale efforts to meet goals set by the Roll Back Malaria initiative, a consortium for coordinated action against the disease.

Pru Smith is from Roll Back Malaria. She said that as part of the consortium's global framework, stepping up net distribution in West African countries is a priority. "The Global Malaria Action Plan is an agreed-upon strategy to first of all make sure that each country that has malaria can scale up its nets and treatment so that the incidence of malaria goes right down," she said.

Smith said that in the past decade, bed net coverage has increased sharply in 11 African countries. Programs led by partners of Roll Back Malaria are under way in countries such as Senegal, which has made a countrywide provision to supply anti-malarial drugs to new mothers.

In Nigeria, distributors working with the consortium are handing out two nets per household across the country. Distributors plan to supply 72 million mosquito nets to households by the end of the year - that's one net for every two people in a country with a population of 144 million.

The United Nations Special Envoy for Malaria, Roy Chambers, said mosquito nets are still the most effective tool for preventing malaria in West Africa. "The two fold benefits are that it protects those sleeping under the net from getting bitten and when the mosquito lands on the net she dies, and that disrupts the Darwinian reproductive cycle," he said.

He said regular use of treated bed nets continues to be a highly effective prevention tool, reducing overall child mortality by as much as 20 percent. "We've had incidences where we've provided bed nets to areas but not the surrounding villages, and after a year the surrounding villages noticed a significant decrease in the incidence of malaria," he said.

But explaining to people how mosquito nets should be used is just as important as distributing them. The Roll Back Malaria consortium has found that in some countries in West Africa, nets distributed for malaria prevention have been used for other purposes, including as fishing nets. "Now the challenge is where the rubber meets the road. That's organizing, scheduling, implementing, coordinating...getting these tools out to all the people and then they're utilizing the tools," he said.

Roll Back Malaria aims to ensure that 80 percent of people in most African countries are sleeping under mosquito nets by the end of 2010. Mass net distributions are also under way in Ghana, Gambia, DR Congo and Equatorial Guinea among other countries.

You May Like

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

Egyptian Court Jails 23 Pro-Morsi Supporters

Meanwhile, Egyptian officials say gunmen have killed two members of the country's security forces More

Pakistani Journalists Protest Shooting of Colleague

Hamid Mir, a host for private television channel Geo, was wounded after being shot three times Saturday, but is expected to survive More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid