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.