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Curbing malaria with lifesaving interventions

April 25, 2016

According to the World Health Organization, there were 214 million new cases of malaria worldwide in 2015. An estimated 438,000 people died last year alone from this preventable and treatable disease. FHI 360 supports the implementation and scale-up of proven malaria control methods, such as insecticide-treated bed nets. These bed nets, made with insecticide-treated fabric, are effective for at least 20 washes and three years.

Between 2010 and 2015, FHI 360’s Malaria Action Program for States (MAPS) project distributed record numbers of free, lifesaving, long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs) in the Nigerian states of Akwa Ibom, Benue, Cross River, Ebonyi, Kebbi, Kogi, Nasarawa, Oyo and Zamfara. Through the MAPS project:

  • 17,207,549 nets were distributed in mass campaigns
  • 840,120 nets were given to women attending antenatal clinics
  • 501,006 nets were given to children who had completed their immunizations through immunization clinics

Community members share the benefits of LLINs 

In the Ojegbe and Wadata communities in Benue State, MAPS organizes distribution and awareness-raising campaigns to educate people on how to hang, use and maintain the nets. 

Ode Okpe, a farmer from Ojegbe, knows the value of mosquito nets in preventing malaria. “I am glad to mention that the malaria illness in this community has greatly reduced,” he stated during a community meeting with the state advocacy and social mobilization team. “Before, my children were always taken to the hospital because of malaria. Now the situation is different as a result of our use of bed nets.”

Elizabeth Achabo, a trader in Wadata, said malaria had been a major problem in her family. Her children experienced repeated episodes of fever, and she always resorted to traditional herbs for treatment. The family’s need for treatment changed when she and her children received bed nets during a malaria-fighting campaign.

Ode and Elizabeth now advocate for the use of bed nets and frequently share their experiences with other community members.

Timely quality data collection and utilization 

In addition to the distribution of LLINs, the MAPS project works to strengthen national, state and local malaria program management. We assist with the implementation and use of health management information system software, supported by the President’s Malaria Initiative, that generates timely malaria data. In Oyo State, this data is displayed on hospital walls and is used to make data-driven decisions for local malaria intervention services. 

Through distributing bed nets, educating the community about malaria and collecting timely, accurate malaria data, FHI 360 is working to curb the disease and save lives in Nigerian communities.