Overview

Malaria remains a worldwide problem, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa where 90% of cases and 92% of deaths occur (WHO). Although the global number of cases has nearly halved since 2000, there were still 214 million cases and 438,000 deaths in 2015. In the same year, DRC saw an estimated 19 million cases and 42,000 deaths, contributing to nearly 10% of the world totals (World Malaria Report 2015). More than two-thirds of these deaths occurred in children less than five years of age.

IMA works to reduce morbidity and mortality via ASSP’s two primary malaria prevention interventions: provision of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) via hang-ups and its Routine Distribution program in health centers, and intermittent preventative treatment in pregnancy (IPTp). ASSP also strives to reinforce the technical capacities and managerial skills of health zone management teams to improve malaria performance.

Both health system and interpersonal factors influence the uptake of the project’s primary malaria prevention interventions. First, many areas lack access to nets and medication due to stock-outs, prohibitive distances between health facilities and villages, and general poverty. Within facilities, staff may lack access to effective diagnostics as well as to treatment supplies for those cases they do identify. Secondly, even where households have access, they may not seek out the interventions due to lack of knowledge, confusion, or myths. Data further demonstrates that households with LLINs may not use them regularly or as intended, perhaps re-directing them for fishing or other purposes.

ASSP has distributed 2.26 million bed nets since the start of the program.

Our Approach

ASSP strives to reduce malaria-related morbidity and mortality among pregnant women and young children, a key strategy for improving primary health care. Specifically, ASSP seeks to:

  • Distribute more than 1.1 million LLINs to pregnant women and children under one year of age, achieving 85% population coverage
  • Increase the number of pregnant women receiving at least two rounds of IPTp to 85%
  • Reinforce the technical capacities and managerial skills of health zone management teams to improve malaria performance.

Key Achievements

  • ASSP achieved success in helping pregnant women access IPTp, an average of 71% of pregnant women took two or more doses of IPT through project-supported health facilities throughout the project, preventing thousands of malaria cases.
  • Since the start of the project, ASSP distributed 754,195 LLINs through routine distribution to pregnant women and children under one year old. Through the Routine Distribution Program, IMA supplied nets for 581 health facilities and referral centers in 19 health zones in DRC.
  • Mass campaigns have resulted in the distribution of 1,317,214 additional nets in Maniema, Nord Ubangi and Kasai.
  • IMA’s mobile tracking initiative (HUT program) measured the LLIN coverage following the first mass LLIN distribution in a target health zone. The mobile technology initiative continues to expand, with 7,000 community volunteers now trained on using Android cell phones for data collection.
  • ASSP’s technical team created a malaria dashboard for the DHIS2 system that summarizes key indicators related to testing, treatment, and prevention. This will make it easier for health zone and other officials to collect, analyze, and respond to malaria data routinely and effectively.

Map of ASSP Routine and Mass (HUT) Distributions