Zambian success in fight against malaria

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Malaria deaths reported from health facilities in Zambia have declined by 66%. This result along with other supporting data indicates that Zambia has reached the 2010 Roll Back Malaria target of a more than 50% reduction in malaria mortality compared to 2000.

On World Malaria Day, celebrated on 25 April, Zambia’s efforts will be promoted as a model for other countries to follow.

Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania, and Sao Tome and Principe are the other African countries who have achieved major reductions in malaria mortality through accelerated malaria control activities.

The decline in Zambia was especially steep after 3.6 million long-lasting insecticidal nets were distributed between 2006 and 2008. During this period malaria deaths declined 47% and nationwide surveys showed parasite prevalence declined 53% from 21.8% to 10.2% and the percentage of children with severe anaemia declined 68% from 13.3% to 4.3%. Most moderate and severe anaemia in children is caused by malaria.

“This is a remarkable achievement and a tribute to the hard work and commitment of the Ministry of Health of Zambia and its partners to combat malaria,” said Dr Lu?s Gomes Sambo, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “As we celebrate World Malaria Day this week, I urge all countries affected by malaria to intensify and sustain malaria control and elimination efforts in order to meet the 2010 goal of 100% coverage.”

WHO, with the support of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, has been collaborating with health ministries over the last two years to evaluate impact from accelerated malaria control activities.

Source: World Health Organization, Switzerland

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