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Malaria control and prevention

Plan staff demonstate how to use a mosquito net and educate community members about the importance of protecting children from mosquitoes in Burkina Faso.
Plan staff demonstate how to use a mosquito net and educate community members about the importance of protecting children from mosquitoes in Burkina Faso.

Plan seeks to strengthen and support partners on the control of malaria among under-five children and pregnant women.

Ninety percent of malaria mortalities are in children under the age of five. Malaria kills more children globally than any other disease.

In Africa, Plan leverages birth registration campaigns, antenatal care visits, and childhood immunization programs as opportunities to provide pregnant women and parents of newborns with free Long Lasting Insecticide Nets (LLINs). We also advocate for governments to integrate malaria prevention strategies into other health service delivery to facilitate the distribution of free LLINs to all vulnerable populations.

Other anti-malaria efforts include the coordination of community malaria awareness, prevention, vector control, and LLIN utilization campaigns. By working with Ministries of Health (MoHs), we are helping inform national malaria policies and supporting governments’ decisions to switch to the distribution of artemisinin combination therapy (ACTs) and home-based case management of malaria.

Plan is a member of the United Kingdom and the French Malaria Consortiums. We also work to coordinate anti-malarial efforts with national malaria control programs, coalitions, and the Country Coordinating Mechanisms of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria.

Malaria prevention in Benin

From 2007 to 2009, funded by USAID through the University Research Corporation (URC), Plan and the MoH implemented a community-based malaria prevention project in 20 villages in Benin.

During the first year, “village teams” comprised of local community volunteers (including youth), mothers of children under-five, village leaders, traditional healers, and health workers were mobilized to take action against malaria. They promoted knowledge of malaria transmission and prevention, increased awareness of signs of malarial complication, ensured proper use of insecticide treated bed nets, and collected data.

During the second year of the project, Plan scaled the project up to include an additional 50 villages. By the end of 2008, all 70 villages demonstrated significantly improved malaria prevention and transmission indicators:

  • The percentage of children under five with fever correctly treated with artemisinin combination therapy increased from 25.1% to 65%;
  • The percentage of mothers who seek appropriate care for their child increased from 19% to 59%;
  • The percentage of mothers correctly utilizing insecticide-treated nets increased from 35% to 95%;
  • The percentage of children under-five sleeping under insecticide-treated nets increased from 35% to 98%.