The US Embassy in Tanzania has announced a donation of about 50 insecticide-treated nets to HIV/AIDS orphans. While this is a relatively small effort, it sets a good example for possible synergies between HIV and Malaria programming and funding.
The attached map from WHO shows the geographical overlap of the two diseases. According to WHO’s Global Malaria Program, “The resulting co-infection and interaction between the two diseases have major public health implications.
- HIV-infected people must be considered particularly vulnerable to malaria;
- Antenatal care needs to address both diseases and their interactions;
- Where both diseases occur, more attention must be given to specific diagnosis for febrile patients.”
It is important therefore that ITNs are not only given to orphans, but all HIV infected people, particularly pregnant women. Malaria enhances transmission of HIV to the child, and therefore ITNs are an important component of PMTCT. Therefore, all donor programs that have both malaria and HIV components need to plan together to serve those in need and not think only in vertical control paradigms.
PS – Thanks for your support and interest. This is our 100th malaria blog.