Additional EUR 59 million boost fight against malaria in ChadMar 10, 2016
N’Djamena, Chad - A new funding agreement, totaling EUR 59 million, has been signed between UNDP and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund). With a focus on young children, pregnant women, nomads and refugees, the grant will roll out community healthcare sites in Chad and intensify efforts to prevent and treat malaria, the leading cause of illness and death in the country. The new funding agreement will run until June 2018 in partnership with the Government of Chad, UNICEF, and national and international civil society organizations, including World Vision.
Malaria is a serious public health threat in Chad where over 97 percent of the country’s 12.8 million people are at risk of contracting the disease. Of the 1.27 million reported cases each year, more than 43 percent are children under the age of five and eight per cent are pregnant women. The grant supports the recently-adopted global Sustainable Development Goals, which, among its targets, aim to end preventable deaths of newborns and children under five years of age and to end the malaria epidemic by 2030.
The new Global Fund grant will provide seasonal malaria prevention for pregnant women and full treatment courses of antimalarial medicine to children during the peak transmission seasons, and reduce the time it takes to begin treatment. Long-lasting insecticide treated-nets will be distributed through a mass campaign, enhancing routine distribution. New community care sites will help increase accessibility for treatment and care, particularly in geographically remote areas. The current average distance between a village and a health center is 19 kilometers, too far for timely care.
The grant will build and expand on previous approaches to respond to the challenging and evolving context in Chad posed by the conflict in Northern Nigeria and the ensuing crisis in the Lake Chad region. The Global Fund is currently placing stronger emphasis on ‘challenging operating environments’ and tailoring its approach to ensure maximum impact and to reach key populations in contexts marked by natural disasters, armed conflicts, as well as infrastructure and governance challenges.
“Malaria harms all human development efforts, which is why UNDP is committed to alleviating the burden this diseases places on Chad, its health system and communities. The new programme will build on past experience, and focus on the most vulnerable populations and highest risk areas. It will involve communities in the fight against malaria, which is also a great way to build their resilience,” said Samir Bouzid, UNDP Project Coordinator.
Nomads, fishermen and Lake Chad islanders are at great risk of malaria, as are 400,000 refugees and returnees in the Eastern and Southern regions of the country. They are all vulnerable and disadvantaged groups without easy access to clinics and trained professionals. Environmental factors, including heavy rainfall and extensive local paddy-fields, also contribute to the spread of malaria as they create favorable conditions for larvae to grow.
The grant will boost efforts by the Ministry for Public Health, Social Action and National Solidarity, which over the past six years has launched several initiatives to bring free emergency care to nomadic groups and provide additional programmes for pregnant women and children under the age of five. In addition to rapid diagnostic tests for speedy and accurate diagnosis of the disease, the Government also introduced use of the most effective antimalarial medicines for patients needing treatment. Since 2011 UNDP-managed programmes in the country have treated close to 2 million cases of malaria each year, and distributed 4.2 million insecticide-treated bed nets.
"The malaria grant is back on track and risk management has improved. Though initially some partners were uncertain, results so far have been greatly appreciated, and demonstrate UNDP's ability to perform well in highly challenging and unfavorable circumstances", said National Malaria Control Programme Manager Clément Kerah Hinzoumbé.Contact information
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