Washington, DC (November 6, 2018) – A groundbreaking new pilot program for malaria elimination has launched in the in Grand’Anse region of Haiti, which carries more than 50% of the island’s malaria burden and has incidence rates nearly 12 times higher than the national average.
Malaria Day in the Americas, commemorated today, honors progress made towards malaria elimination and prevention of re-establishment in the region. Last year, Haiti was honored as a Malaria Champion of the Americas by The Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) and has since continued to pave the way to elimination through strategically joining government, donor, nonprofit, and private sector partners to work together toward ending malaria for good in Hispaniola.
The Malaria Zero Alliance, led by the Ministry of Public Health and Population’s Programmes Nationaux de Malaria et de Filariose Lymphatique (PNCM) in Haiti, has begun activities to ensure all cases of malaria are tested, tracked and treated in the Grand Anse Department.
The Grand’Anse project consists of a package of interventions to eliminate malaria sub-nationally by strengthening Haiti’s existing system of health care services. This package of interventions includes vector control, disease surveillance, case management, community engagement, as well as innovative strategies such as targeted mass drug administration and indoor residual spraying of insecticide in the most affected areas.
“Haiti’s leadership in the battle against malaria has moved the elimination effort to a critical point where the path is clear for achieving a historic milestone in the Americas region -- a malaria-free Haiti and Caribbean,” said Dr. Michelle Chang, Director of Malaria Zero, and CDC Medical Epidemiologist. “Country leadership, coupled with strong partner commitment and innovative strategies, has resulted in the ability to pinpoint the exact locations of malarial infections, rapidly cure them and stop onward transmission. These novel approaches could be used elsewhere in the global fight against malaria.”
Since 2000, incredible progress has been made globally in the fight to end malaria, and the Americas are a leader in the path to elimination. Between 2000 and 2015, an expansion of malaria interventions helped reduce malaria incidence by 37% and mortality by 60% globally. During the same period, malaria cases and deaths decreased by 62% and 61% respectively in the region.
But progress has been uneven and has stalled in recent years. Today, 102 million people in the Americas are still at risk of contracting the disease, and 28 million are at a substantial risk. However, in countries like Haiti, partnerships between the national malaria program, nonprofits, and private sector partners are forging the way to ending this deadly disease for good.
“Haiti is ready to reach zero deaths and no more local transmission.” said Dr. Jean Frantz Lemoine, PNCM’s Coordinator. “Malaria testing in the population has increased steadily since 2015 due to Rapid Diagnostic Tests and community-based care — more than tripling community case detection between 2016 and 2017. This proves Haiti can end malaria for good in the coming years.”
Through technology and innovative partnerships, this program will improve malaria surveillance and case management, and ultimately strengthen the region’s overall health system by improving the process of diagnosing and treating multiple diseases. Digicel has stepped up to ensure the success of the program by providing 100 Surtab tablets and solar-powered battery chargers to community health workers implementing the malaria elimination pilot, who are canvassing the region to identify, diagnose, treat, and track malaria cases for the benefit of Grand’Anse families. These tablets will provide real-time tracking and provide higher quality information faster, which will not only save lives but greatly advance the country’s capacity to monitor and eliminate disease.
Likewise, Syngenta has generously donated 5,000 bottles of Actellic®300CS, which will protect thousands of Haitian families from malaria through indoor residual spraying.
“We are encouraged by the unique collaboration efforts toward elimination in Haiti,” said Margaret Reilly McDonnell, Executive Director of the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign. “This project only proves that through continued partnership and increased funding, we can end malaria in the Americas, and worldwide, for good.”
More partnerships and resources are required to extend this program and end malaria for good. For more information about malaria elimination in Hispaniola, visit www.malariazero.org.
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Communications and Digital Media Manager, Nothing But Nets and UN Foundation
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About Malaria Zero Alliance
Malaria Zero is an alliance of partners with one bold goal: to accelerate elimination of malaria from the island of Hispaniola. Malaria Zero partners are implementing innovative, evidence-based strategies, including identifying and fine-scale mapping of areas of high transmission and risk, and piloting novel, targeted approaches to elimination. Malaria Zero was made possible by a $29.9 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, but at least twice as much more is still needed to ensure that our team of technical experts is able to implement island-wide strategies to achieve malaria elimination. For more information, visit http://www.malariazeroalliance.org
About Nothing But Nets
Nothing But Nets is the world’s largest grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria, a disease which claims the life of a child every two minutes. Inspired by sports columnist Rick Reilly, hundreds of thousands of people have joined the campaign that was created by the United Nations Foundation in 2006. Nothing But Nets has raised over $65 million to help deliver 12 million bed nets to families in need, along with other crucial malaria interventions. In addition to raising funds for its UN partners, Nothing But Nets raises awareness and voices to advocate for critical malaria funding for the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. It only costs $10 to help save lives from this deadly disease. Visit www.NothingButNets.net to defeat malaria.
About the United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals. For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.