Sunday, April 18, 2010

Malaria in Angola

Located on the West African coast, Luanda is Angola's chief seaport and capital. For years, Angola has waged war against malaria by providing medical treatment, distributing medicine and mosquito nets, and reconstructing the capital city. Social housing built to replace slums has reduced the urban risk of contracting malaria. Better health facilities prevent the ill from dying, and mosquito nets reduce the likelihood of mosquito bites, which may transmit malaria.

"Angola's health systems were severely damaged during the civil war," [ending in 2002] after which "only about 30 percent of the population had access to government health facilities. Malaria accounts for an estimated 35 percent of mortality in children less than five years old, 25 percent of maternal mortality, and 60 percent of hospital admissions for children under age five" (USAID).

Luanda reports that "the number of malaria cases dropped from four million to three million in recent years". "Speaking on the celebrations of the malaria world day [on 25 April], Filomeno Fortes [Ministry of Health] stated that the number of deaths also decreased from 20,000 to 9,000 as a result of the anti-malaria campaigns, namely through sensitization actions, distribution of mosquito nets, the anti-larvae combat and the initiative of the US president."

"Angola is one of three first-round target countries benefiting from the U.S. President's Malaria Initiative (PMI), a five-year $1.2 billion initiative led by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). . . PMI's long-term goal is to cut malaria deaths by 50 percent in 15 African countries by providing lifesaving services, supplies, and medicines to 85 percent of those most vulnerable to malaria -- children under five years of age and pregnant women" (USAID).

Fortes hopes to equip every health unit in the country with COARTEM, anti-malaria tablets, by the end of the year.

"Dr Fortes revealed that the government will launch on April 25 an anti-larvae program with the aim to boost the campaign against the disease" (AngolaPress)

AngolaPress. "Malaria cases dropped. . ." 18 April 2010.
USAID. Country Profile: Angola. May 2008.

No comments:

Post a Comment