Africare project records high uptake of malaria testing, treatment, care
*Programme delivers major improvements in disease control
The results of a six-year malaria prevention programme in Nigeria showed more people especially children under five and pregnant women are getting tested and treated for malaria.
The project by one of the leading Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Africare, committed to helping African people build sustainable, healthy and productive communities was conducted on four local government areas in Akwa Ibom and Rivers States (Eket, Ibeno, Bonny and Ogu/Bolo) reaching over 90,000 people. The beneficiaries included children under five and pregnant women in households within these communities.
The Malaria Prevention in Mobil Producing Nigeria Supplier Communities (MAPS-C) project ran from 2011 through 2017 and was implemented with the support of ExxonMobil.
Among the top-line results of the evaluation of the MAPS-C project, it was found that:
*The percentage of under-five children who received Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT) as treatment for malaria increased from 21 per cent at the start of the project, to 74 per cent in 2016
*Percentage of persons with suspected malaria that were tested increased from less than 30 per cent at the start of the project, to more than 90 per cent in 2016.
*The percentage of pregnant women who received two of the four World Health Organisation (WHO) required preventive treatment doses with sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) increased from 29 per cent in 2013 to 52 per cent in 2016.
Africare President, Robert Mallett, in a statement, said: “We are encouraged by the results of our multi-pronged approach and the support of our partners on the ground. We feel confident that our work to increase community knowledge, improve practices of health care workers, and improve malaria treatment and care, will have a lasting impact on the goal to eliminate malaria.”
Mallet said Africare’s multi-pronged approach comprised four elements: Assess and Build Upon Existing Interventions to determine the effectiveness of previous malaria control efforts against the current project; and strengthen synergies for scale-up of results in six key malaria intervention areas including case management, use of Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) by every household, uptake of Intermittent Prophylaxis Treatment (IPT) for pregnant women.
Others, he said, include public awareness and capacity of households and communities to effectively prevent, treat, and control malaria; malaria seminars for Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN) suppliers and vendors; documentation and ongoing dissemination of best practices to inform, scale up and replicate successful interventions; and learn and share best practices
President of ExxonMobil Foundation, Kevin Murphy, said: “The Africare MAPS-C project has helped advance our goals of working with partners to provide malaria prevention therapies to communities in Nigeria and helping to improve health infrastructure.
“We were proud to support Africare in training health workers in electronic data capture and timely sharing of health information.”Africare will host a MAPS-C Dissemination Event to discuss results and findings with participants and beneficiaries in the project on Thursday April 12, 2018, at Kogi Hall, Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja. Media briefing would precede the event.
Africare is the premier Africa-focused NGO working in partnership with African people to build sustainable, healthy and productive lives and communities, and to be a leading voice addressing African development and policy issues.