Making Strides Against Malaria in Cameroon
Aissatou Maliki of Cameroon has been a witness to far too much tragedy.
Between 2000 and 2011, eight children from her extended family died as a result of malaria.
"My cousins died in succession,” she said. “We did not know the cause of death. It was only later that we realized, thanks to the advice of the Community Based Organizations (CBOs), that malaria was killing them.”
In Cameroon, Aissatou’s story is not uncommon. According to the World Health Organization, every one of Cameroon’s 19.6 million citizens is at risk of malaria, with 71 percent of them living in high transmission areas. More than 1.8 million suspected cases of malaria were recorded countrywide in 2010, along with over 4,500 recorded malaria-attributed deaths. The disease was estimated to be responsible for 19 percent of under-5 child deaths in 2008, more than any other single cause.
Plan International USA, with support from The Global Fund and Cameroon’s Ministry of Public Health, has been working to change the tide. To date, Plan has distributed more than 8 million long lasting insecticide nets (LLINs) throughout the country.
The nets have had a substantial impact.
15-year-old Ahmadou Mama was proud to see a change in her community.
"Before September 2011, I had already lost five people in my family to malaria, but since the use of the net under the guidance of Plan, there are no more malaria problems. Sanguéé Bo'o dum (The nets are good!).”
"Everything has changed!” added Aissatou.