Stomp out Malaria

malariaYesterday was probably one of the most difficult and emotional days I have had thus far in country. A little girl, 2 year old girl, passed away last night due to Malaria. This same little girl was playing in my yard just 2 weeks ago.

Yesterday evening, my Malagasy neighbors and I went to pay our condolences to the family. In Malagasy culture they place the body of their loved one in their home and sit around in a circle to share blessings. Sitting with the mother of a 2 year old child who had just passed was extremely difficult. It is a mothers nightmare to see her child pass away, especially at this age. Sitting silently in the presence of this little girl body caused many emotions to go through me.

Despite this sadness, Madagascar is making strides to prevent deaths by Malaria.

Facts about malaria in country- from Roll Back Malaria: The Global Partnership for a Malaria-Free World

http://www.rbm.who.int/ProgressImpactSeries/report14.html

“Progress and impact of malaria control in Madagascar at a glance

Since 1998, the Malagasy government has built a solid National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP), with well-defined objectives and organizational plans to reduce malaria morbidity and mortality.

Political commitment has been strong with highest level support. In 2000, African heads of state committed their countries to the Abuja Call to ensure universal access to antimalarial interventions, recognizing the main goal of the African Malaria Elimination Campaign. Madagascar added its support to this initiative.

Good planning and a clear national strategy have attracted partners and growing resources. The country has received grants from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) in five different funding rounds (1, 3, 4, 7 and 9) and increasing investments from the United States President’s Malaria Initiative (US-PMI) to control malaria. External resources began to increase in 2005, peaking at US$ 96 million in 2010. Over the 2007–20111 period a total of US$ 240 million was available for malaria control activities.

These funds have been used to deliver many prevention and case-management interventions.

  1. Nearly 14 million insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs)2 were distributed between 2005 and 2011. Since 2007, malaria control interventions have been intensified through targeted, then universal distribution campaigns.
  2. Indoor residual spraying (IRS) campaigns helped protect 1.2–2 million households each year between 2008 and 2011.
  3. About 5 million free rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) were used between 2007 and 2011.
  4. More than 2 million free treatment courses of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) were delivered between 2007 and 2011.”

10 facts on Malaria in Africa:

http://www.afro.who.int/en/madagascar/madagascar-publications/2287-10-facts-on-malaria-in-africa.html

Here is a link from the World Health Organization with Madagascar’s Malaria Profile:

http://www.who.int/malaria/publications/country-profiles/profile_mdg_en.pdf

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2 comments

  1. Barrie

    So tragic and sad. Such an unnecessary death. My thoughts are with you and the family. Much love to you. FYI – I’ve been sponsoring children in Africa and Latin America for over 25 years through an organization called Plan International. The monthly money I send is used in the child’s community to build schools, med clinics, safe water sources etc. They also have a program called Gifts of Hope, that anyone can buy. Things like goats, pigs, bees (for honey), farm seed, school books, health vaccinations, prenatal care, school books and meals etc are some of the items you can buy for specific communities. They also offer mosquito netting: for $50, you can protect a family of 7 from the terrible fate that your little friend and her family suffered. Here’s a link if you’re able to see it http://www.planusa.org/content3117127 I’m going to post it to Facebook too. FYI – part of the Gifts of Hope is a program called Because I Am A Girl. The idea is that every girl should have the right to go to school, live free from violence and pursue their dreams. You can buy Gifts for Hope specific to that program. Check it out – I think you’ll be impressed. http://www.planusa.org/content3116908 Again babe, so sorry about that adorable child. Broken hearted. But just think how much your presence in the community will change things for the better. You’re learning so much and I have no doubt you will use what you learn throughout your career. So as horrible as it is that this happened and you had to experience something so tragic, some good WILL come from her very short life. I’m certain of it. And I’m certain of you.

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