Health

(Sheila McKinnon photo)

Malaria is Africa's third-leading cause of death ― and the number-one killer of African children under five years of age.

Malaria Control at the Grassroots

Every year, more than a million people worldwide die of malaria — and 90 percent of those deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa. Overall, malaria is Africa's third-leading cause of death. It is the number-one killer of African children under five years of age.

Africare has worked since 1998 to extend malaria control to rural areas of Benin, where the disease is widespread, poverty abounds and medical coverage is inadequate. In the first phase of the work, Africare introduced a model for malaria control that partnered communities with the health centers serving them. Next, Africare, the Beninese Ministry of Public Health and other agencies expanded the community-based outreach to additional areas. More people learned how to identify symptoms of malaria and get treatment; and for prevention, they received insecticide-treated bed nets (malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes), materials to re-treat the nets and the antimalarial drug, chloroquine.

Among other results, malaria information campaigns reached thousands of rural people and, in clinics in the project areas, the number of infants receiving proper treatment for their malaria increased dramatically from 4 percent when the work began to 74 percent today.

 

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