Friday, December 8, 2023
SocietyMalaria initiative to distribute millions of nets

Malaria initiative to distribute millions of nets

The US President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) is to distribute six million nets to be used in the prevention of Malaria in Ethiopia.

The project which is financed by PMI will be led by USAID, Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), Ministry of Health as well as regional bureaus.

The program will benefit around 11 million people across Ethiopia, and will help to protect them from Malaria infection.

The last time long-lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) were distributed was three years ago. Ethiopia usually gets these nets through two ways: either through the support of Global Fund or from other donors.

In this regard, PMI cumulatively procured over 23 million ITNs between 2008 and 2015. In total, from all sources, Ethiopia has distributed 29.6 million long-lasting ITNs 2014-2016.

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Previously, apart from Global Fund, UNICEF had a major stake in the financing of nets in Ethiopia with funding it secured from PMI. Now USAID is taking over the funding which is channeled from the initiative and began to support those who are endangered by Malaria.

According to PMI, malaria prevalence in Ethiopia is relatively low compared to other African nations, where nearly 70 percent of the population lives in areas exposed to malaria.

Ministry of Health puts the proportion of population in Ethiopia who lives in areas at risk of malaria at 60 percent. In addition, last year alone, two million cases of malaria are treated in Ethiopia.

“Prompt access to quality malaria case management, including laboratory-based diagnosis in remote rural areas, has improved dramatically over the last decade as have surveillance systems that capture malaria cases and deaths, according to PMI’s website.

Particularly, concerning the six million nets, 110 weredas in Oromia, Amhara, Tigray, and Afar Regional States will be distributed to replace nets that were distributed three years ago.

From this half a million will be given for Afar region, particularly for areas along the Awash River.

The support from PMI will contribute to efforts to prevent malaria infection, said Yasin Habib, deputy head of Afar region’s health bureau, during the official launch of the program.

Between 2016 and 2017, some 140,000 cases of Malaria were treated in Afar Regional State, according to the health bureau. In addition, among those who are tested 28 percent of them were infected with Malaria.

Moreover, over the past six month, from the 70,000 people who were tested, more than 40 percent of them were Malaria positive.

“Though the numbers seems high, from time to time, we are seeing a significant decline in Malaria infection,” said Malaria advisor at the health Bureau.

The support by PMI is part of the Initiative to help Ethiopia achieving countrywide elimination of Malaria by 2020. The initiative has been helping Ethiopia’s National Malaria Control Program since 2008, particularly in the procurement and distribution of the nets.

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