On almost all measures – from the rates of child and maternal mortality, malnutrition, HIV & AIDS and deaths by preventable diseases, to the availability of clinics and medical personnel – Sub-Saharan Africa presents the world’s most serious health problems but has the fewest resources to solve them. Increasingly, African leaders are making health a top government priority, and Africare knows that African nations can take control of health issues.
Africare is strengthening African health systems with community-based, capacity building interventions, and our broad expertise enables partnerships with countries facing problems of all kinds: polio, maternal and child health, HIV & AIDS, orphans and vulnerable children, reproductive health, malnutrition, tuberculosis or malaria.
Investing in Africans to Defeat Malaria:
With financial support from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and in collaboration with the Benin Ministry of Health (MOH) and Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM), Africare/Benin launched a pilot program in 2004 to train members of local women’s groups how to control malaria in their communities. Beginning in just two departments, Couffo and Mono, the Africare-trained women shared their knowledge with others on how to protect children under five years old and pregnant women from malaria.
By 2008, the incidence of malaria dropped 73 percent in the two departments despite a national increase of 65 percent over the same period. More importantly, malaria-related deaths of children under five dropped 84 percent, while the national average only decreased 18 percent.
Due to the program’s success, The Global Fund renewed its support and recommended the initiative be expanded to cover all of Benin. The Benin MOH and CCM again turned to Africare to lead the comprehensive malaria control program. For the nationwide initiative, in addition to training women’s groups on malaria prevention and treatment, Africare also coordinated the distribution of nearly 8 million long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets in an effort to reach universal coverage.