The following colleagues from the Ministry of Health in Huambo Angola and Jhpiego presented their work at the 141st American Public health Annual Meeting in Boston yesterday: Frederico Juliana, Jhony Juarez, Amandio Natito, and Lelo Zola. Please see their contribution below.
Malaria is the first cause of morbidity and mortality in Angola. Angola has 18 provinces and an estimated population around 17 million. There are three epidemiologic classes: hyper-endemic (Northern part of the country), stable meso-endemic area (Central) and unstable meso-endemic area (South).
In the last ten years, the Ministry of Health, the National Malaria Control Program, and national and international organizations have made efforts to control it. In Huambo Province, where about 14% of the total Angolan population lives, the number of malaria cases decreased by 85% and the deaths decreased by 98% to just 31 deaths between 2008 and 2012.
Factors that have contributed to the reduction of malaria cases include increase in number of health professionals, principally doctors, work with organized communities, health fairs (Uhayele Vimbo) for rural/ isolated populations. In addition major malaria interventions such as rapid malaria tests and microscopes, combined antimalarials, spraying, ITN distribution, improvement in diagnosis and treatment, equipment for spraying, anti-larva projects were deployed more widely.
Reaching all municipalities, communes and neighborhoods with these services and population-level health education campaigns, improvements in the health information system and a rapid alert, earlier care-seeking for malaria symptoms led to lives saved. Number of malaria cases and deaths in Huambo decreased between 2008 2012 from 620,300 to 87,852 and from 1,559 to 31 respectively.