Malaria-related headlines have focused on Rwanda, Ethiopia and Zanzibar where it has been possible to work in a relatively focused area to bring about large malaria program impacts.Â Efforts in Mali have slipped under the radar according to Claudia Vondrasek, The VOICES field operations coordinator based in Bamako.Â Claudia shares results from a Mali national survey conducted by HealthBridge Canada in Aug 2008 that have now become available.Â Net progress is substantial.
- 81.1% of households with at least 1 ITN
- 78.5%Â children under 5 years of age slept under a net the night before
- 96.3% of children under 6 years of age slept under a net in households with at least 1 ITN
- 73.9% of pregnant women slept under a net the night before
Two important trends to mention – Not only are we closing the gap in Mali to achieve 2010 LLIN targets (80% use nationally) in Mali, it looks like many countries are making great strides on their way to reaching those targets in recent years. This is mainly due to a sustained commitment by the international partnership to support National Malaria Control Programs to achieve 2010 RBM targets of 80% coverage of key interventions.
The other less heartening trend is the lag time being recorded between grant approval, signature and Phase 1 disbursement.Â Many suspect this is a function of evaporating resources available for GF grants.
Progress in Mali has been building for the past two years.Â The US President’s Malaria Initiative has played a key role in “a unique public-private partnership with the American Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and others, the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), through USAID, provided $1 million for the purchase of 169,800 long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets (LLINs) as part of a national child survival campaign in Mali conducted in December 2007.”
There is even more to this partnership. Other key members “include ExxonMobil, the Measles Initiative (The United Nations Foundation, WHO, UNICEF, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, … the Canadian Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies, Malaria No More, Nothing But Nets, Major League Soccer (MLS), the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), Malian government agencies, numerous local nongovernmental and faith-based organizations, … Assistance Technique Nationale SantÃ©/USAID, the Mali Red Cross, … Helen Keller International, the Ministry of Social Development, Solidarity and the Elderly, the National Federation of Community Health Associations, Population Services International, the Network of Traditional Communicators, and journalists from local media.”
It is important to note that partner efforts went beyond the campaign in 2007, and continued to encourage people to USE the nets that they had received.Â Partners must continue their efforts toward the universal coverage targets and the reduction of malaria morbidity and mortality envisioned in the Millennium Development Goals for 2015.