MAROVOAY – The American people continue their support for Madagascar through a malaria prevention bed net distribution initiative launched Saturday in the northern district of Marovoay.
The endeavor is part of the Programme National de Lutte contre le Paludisme (PNLP), a collaboration between the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), Madagascar’s Ministry of Public Health, and the Ministry of National Education. The project will provide 55,000 insecticide-treated bed nets to protect more than half the population of Marovoay, a city of 217,000 citizens.
The distribution of bed nets remains one of the most effective strategies to protect people from malaria. The United States, through PMI, funds a large-scale distribution campaign every three years that includes efforts to replace torn or lost nets and cover new sleeping spaces.
Since the start of the current PNLP campaign, which began in 2021, more than 1.1 million bed nets have been distributed through primary schools, health centers, and community health volunteers. In total, more than 2.2 million Malagasy people will be protected against malaria through this campaign.
“When used properly and consistently, bed nets save lives. A tremendous decrease in malaria cases was reported during the first six months of 2022, compared with the same period in 2021,” stressed USAID’s Health, Population, and Nutrition Office Director Sophia Brewer at Saturday’s ceremony to launch the new initiative.
The PNLP reports that malaria cases decreased significantly from 1.5 million cases in the first six months of 2021 to 1.0 million cases in the first six months of 2022 due to increased bed net use.
The PNLP initiative targets 14 health districts in remote or high malaria burden areas throughout the country and is making rapid progress towards achieving its strategic objective to protect at least 90 percent of the population with insecticide treated bed nets in key areas by the end of 2022. The PNLP initiative is funded by PMI and managed by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
The United States stands side-by-side with Madagascar like “mpirahalahy mianala” to help improve the health and well-being of the Malagasy people. As the largest single-country donor to Madagascar’s health sector, the U.S. government has allocated more than $440 million since 2015 to fund health activities, including $16 million to combat COVID-19.