Plan Wins Roll Back Malaria Award for Its Work in West Africa
Last month, Plan received the Roll Back Malaria Award from West Africa’s Roll Back Malaria Network (WARN). This award recognizes Plan’s long-term commitment to fighting malaria in each of our 12 regional program countries in West Africa and acknowledges our contribution and leadership in WARN’s civil society group.
Plan is one of 500 members of the Rollback Malaria partnership which currently includes research and academic institutions, representatives from countries with malaria epidemics, other development organizations, and the private sector. In addition to winning the award, Plan is now the only non-governmental organization to be a member of WARN’s Steering Committee.
Plan’s Fight Against Malaria
In 2010, the World Health Organization estimated that there were around 219 million cases of malaria and an estimated 660,000 malaria-related deaths. While both adults and children are at risk of contracting the disease, children are more likely to be infected due to their weaker immune systems.
In West Africa, Plan has been dedicated to improving the health of children under the age of five. Through the support of our generous donors and USAID, Plan has been able to implement activities in 43 of the world’s most malaria endemic countries.
One of Plan’s key strategies is supporting the Ministry of Health through supporting the acquisition and distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets through national campaigns in the countries where Plan works. To supplement the campaigns, Plan’s community volunteers have distributed over 19 million insecticide-treated bed nets. These bed nets act as physical barriers to protect users from anopheles mosquitos.
Plan has also included the bed nets in prenatal care packages through a distribution system at community health care facilities. These prenatal care packages are available to women for free or at a reduced cost.
In addition to providing the bed nets, Plan has also engaged in the following programs to help reduce the risk of malaria contraction:
- Educating and supporting communities through behavior change campaigns promoting the early detection and prevention of malaria
- Training over 28,000 community health workers in malaria prevention, identification, and treatment
- Providing communities with diagnostic equipment to aid in malaria diagnosis
- Administering anti-malarial medicines to expecting mothers to eradicate existing parasites or aid in the prevention of new infections
In response to winning the award, Adama Coulibaly, Plan’s Regional Director of West Africa, has stated that the award is a symbolic recognition of Plan’s excellent work on the ground in collaboration with The Global Fund, governments, partner organizations, and – most importantly – children and their communities.