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The Latest Edition of "Eyes on malaria" magazine will be out very soon!! | CALL FOR ARTICLES: AMMREN is inviting journalists / writers / scientists interested in reporting on malaria to send articles for publication in its international magazine “Eyes on Malaria” and for posting on its website. Please contact the AMMREN Secretariat for more details click here. Enjoy your stay!. Volunteers and interns urgently needed to work with an NGO working in the area of malaria and health. Apply through - ammren1@gmail.com / ammren1@yahoo.com. Journalists interested in reporting on and writing articles on health issues should please reply through this email: ammren1@gmail.com

ANNOUNCEMENTS:::

TIPS ON MALARIA

  • HOW CAN MOSQUITOES BE CONTROLLED?

    Mosquitoes around the home can be reduced significantly by minimizing the amount of standing water available for mosquito breeding. Residents are urged to reduce standing water around the home in a variety of ways.

  • HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF FROM MOSQUITO-BORN DISEASES?

    The best way is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.This can be accomplished using personal protecting  while outdoors when mosquitoes are present. Treated bed nets should be used sleeping. Mosquito repellent should be used when outdoor.

  • WHO ARE AT RISK?


    Nearly half of the world’s population is at risk of getting malaria. Pregnant women are particularly at risk of malaria. Children under 5 years are at high risk of malaria.
     

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  • Volume 1

Spreading the net over Malawi

Stakeholders have set in motion a life-saving arrangement to meet the 2015 target to end malaria deaths in Malawi and other endemic countries on the continent. And this is driven by the idea that given the highly effective tools available against malaria, people must not continue to die from the disease.

Over 12 million people in Malawi are benefitting from a mass distribution of free bed nets to  poor households, officials have confirmed.

Malawi is a small nation on the South East of Africa and is highly infested with malaria- causing mosquito, and malaria disease continues to be the biggest single killer disease in this poor nation.

However, with the distribution of over 6.4 million long lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs), on the basis of one net for two occupants, the country stands to reduce new malaria infections and reduce the malaria burden.

Deputy Director at the National Malaria Control Programme, Doreen Ali confirmed this in Salima, a lake shore district of Malawi, when she briefed local journalists from both print and electronic public and private media houses on the progress made since the net distribution started in February this year.

“We have distributed over 6.4 million mosquito nets throughout the country. Each net is meant to cater for two people,” said Ali, while indicating that the free nets come in green and are rectangular and not the cone shaped ones.

This comes after rumours that the free nets are being sold by unscrupulous traders. Ali disputed that saying the ones people see on the streets are for private commercial purpose and not the ones distributed in the campaign.

 

Malaria Control Programme Officer John Zoya explained that the long lasting insecticidal nets will trap and kill Anopheles-a mosquito specie type that transmits micro-organisms that cause the biggest killer malaria disease.

Wilfred Dodoli of World Health Organisation Malawi office clarified that just because the nets are called long lasting does not mean they cannot be torn, but rather it means the insecticides used last longer.

“You can wash the nets over 20 times but still not wash away the strength of the insecticides. The nets are approximately 190 cm wide, 180 cm long and 150 cm high,” he said.

 

Though, the mass distribution campaign ended June this year, government still plans to continue with the campaign depending on funds and resource availability. Currently, donors like Global Fund Initiative, USAID, Against Malaria Fund and Malawi Red Cross are some of those that have helped Malawi distribute the nets in this campaign.

The next mass distribution campaign may be in 2015 as per Global Fund Initiative on Malaria, however, the government of Malawi prefers the next round of mass distribution happens in 2014.
“This is because Global Fund said the nets will last three years before they are torn while local officials argue that they will last two years because the poor people normally do not have mattresses and the nets are tucked under reed mats and get torn easily,” said Dodoli.

Currently, Malawi population is pegged at around 15 million, out if which over 12 million have benefited from the free nets. In addition, there are nets sold on the market by private businesses, so the population of nets is likely to be higher.

The whole population of Malawi is at risk of malaria with 97% at endemic risk and 3% at epidemic risk. Like in other malaria endemic countries, Malawian children from age three months to about five years are at the greatest risk because during this time they have lost the immunity they acquired from their mothers.

A minimum of 40% of all deaths in children under-five in Malawi is due to malaria.

- By Samuel Chibaya and Rebecca Chimjeka - Malawi

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