Madagascar — On Tuesday, 24 August, in Vangaindrano district in the southeast of the island, Prime Minister Christian Ntsay launched the latest national campaign to bring highly effective malaria prevention to over 23 million people on the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar.
Malaria affects around 2 million people every year on the island, and in the coming two months, the campaign will deliver 13.7 million long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets. This is nearly one net for every two people at risk of malaria—and enough to cover every one of the 85% of households on the island that live in malaria endemic areas. The campaign will be completed just prior to the onset of the next rainy season, which means it will be well timed for peak malaria season.
This campaign is the achievement of over three years’ of careful preparation by a wide range of partners. It is led by the National Malaria Control Program of the Ministry of Public Health, with technical and logistical support from Population Services International and 15 local civil society organizations, as well as many other public, private and civil society partners. Around two thirds of the financing has come through the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, with the balance coming from the US President’s Malaria Initiative through the USAID/IMPACT project.
Mickael Randriamanjaka, PSI Madagascar’s malaria director, reported that: “A campaign of this nature is challenging at any time in a country such as Madagascar, which has extremely poor infrastructure. Some districts can take a month to receive their allocation of nets from the capital, Antananarivo, and ongoing transportation methods include pirogues (local canoes) and cattle drawn carts. This year’s campaign has been especially challenging due to the added complexity of COVID-19. Despite disruptions to global supply chains, social distancing, mask and handwashing requirements, and restrictions to inter-regional travel on the island, the campaign has mobilized and prepared 92,000 community agents in nearly 18,000 community level distribution points to oversee the distribution. It has been a real team effort.”
About Population Services International (PSI)
Population Services International (PSI) is a global nonprofit organization focused on encouraging healthy behaviors and delivering affordable health products and services around the world. We bring innovation to scale through our presence in 40+ countries and a network of over 10,000 health clinics and pharmacies. PSI takes a business approach to saving lives, designing effective, scalable, and sustainable solutions to the world’s biggest challenges in healthcare.
Country Representative, PSI Madagascar