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Malaria prevention in Zimbabwe

Approximately 400 million people contract malaria each year, with at least 1 million dying as a result. The vast majority of cases occur in sub-Saharan Africa. Children under the age of five are most at risk.
Approximately 400 million people contract malaria each year, with at least 1 million dying as a result. The vast majority of cases occur in sub-Saharan Africa. Children under the age of five are most at risk.

A three-year project, starting in January 2007, aims to reduce deaths caused by malaria in six districts of Zimbabwe through training, education and provision of resources to communities.

The project integrates malaria prevention, diagnosis, treatment and control within the framework of the National Strategic Plan for Roll Back Malaria.

Existing health structures will be improved; health personnel trained; community groups strengthened; information, education and communication materials developed with children and communities; the vector controlled; and insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) produced and distributed.
This malaria prevention project will reach over 235,000 households, with an estimated population of 323,000 women over 15 years of age and 474,000 boys and girls below 15 years of age. These segments of the popoulation are the most susceptible to malaria and currently have very limited access to integrated malaria prevention and care services.

As well as addressing the disease, the project is expected to enable community members to take a lead in decision making on issues that affect their lives. Women and youth groups will also be supported to improve their incomes through producing and marketing ITNs.

Community participation and local ownership of the project is high, with children and adults helping promote sustainability.

The project aims to provide sustainable responses to the needs of the target groups through a variety of approaches:

  • providing training on malaria prevention and control issues
  • providing targeted inputs to start small scale ITN production and marketing
  • increasing access to accurate diagnosis and correct treatment — e.g. malaria testing kits for Rural Health Centers
  • providing timely and appropriate detection and control of malaria outbreaks together with technical support for data analysis and in-service training on spraying
  • strengthening or establishing Community Malaria Committees (CMCs)

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Learn more about Plan's work in Zimbabwe