News / Health

West Africa Charts Progress In Malaria Prevention

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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid