NEW PROJECT: COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL MOBILIZATION- A NATION FREE FROM MALARIA

SAID is glad to be a member of the family of Civil Society Organizations in Malaria Control, Immunization and Nutrition (ACOMIN), a network of civil Society organizations who are committed to fighting malaria.

In collaboration with ACOMIN, SAID has since June 2015 been implementating a project aimed at complementing the effort of the Government in the reduction of morbidity and mortality due to Malaria. ACOMIN partners with the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Heal (to reduce malaria burden to pre-elimination levels and bring malaria-related mortality to zero. ACOMIN is a sub- Recipient (SR) of the Global Fund Programme for an onbehalf of the principal recipient (PR) Society for Family Health /NMEP) to ensure the implementation of the Social Mobilization component of GF NFM Malaria Grant.

SAID has been successful in its bid as an implementing Agent (IA) for the said intervention on behalf of ACOMIN. The objective of this intervention is contributing to a rapid and sustained scale up of malaria interventions for impact in Nigeria. The method will be through inter-personal communication (IPC), community based awareness programs, facility based health talks, school based health programs and sensitization to special groups , including faith-based, youth groups and other community groups. The goal of the social-mobilization (SM) is to build and sustain community support for appropriate malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment behaviours, mobilizing community for healthy change through tapping into existing social networks. All these activities will be executed by trained IPC conductors.

Millions of people die globally because of malaria related sicknesses. According to the WHO World Malaria Report 2014, 198 million cases of malaria occurred globally in 2013 and the disease led to 584,000 deaths. The burden is heaviest in sub-Saharan Africa, where an estimated 90% of all malaria deaths occur. Children aged less than five years account for 78% of all malaria deaths. This disease constitutes a huge epidemiological burden in Africa and continues to cripple economic development in the region.

Malaria infestation during pregnancy has been associated with persistent high maternal and childhood morbidity and mortality among pregnant women especially in Nigeria were malaria is highly endemic. Malaria accounts for 11% of maternal death, 70% of morbidity in pregnant women and is responsible for 63% of all clinic attendances in Nigeria. It causes 25% of infant mortality and 30% of all childhood deaths. Malaria during pregnancy accounts for up to 15% of maternal anemia and 5-14% of low birth weight (Safe motherhood fact sheet 19). As a result the World Health Organization (WHO) launched Roll Back Malaria (RBM) initiative in 1998 with a major focus on the prevention & management of malaria during pregnancy by using insecticide treated nets (ITNs) among other measures.Although malaria is preventable, easily treated and curable, it assumes a deadly dimension when it occurs in pregnancy and it is not promptly managed.

The economic loss caused by malaria is estimated to about 132 billion Naira in form of treatment costs, prevention, loss of productive- hours etc.,yet it is treatable and completely preventable disease.

In this connection, concerted efforts are being made by Governments, Civil Society Organizations, the Public Sector, the private Sector to find a lasting solution to the menace of malaria.

SAID will be bringing you updates on the progress of this project. Once again, we like to express our deepest thanks for your support as we continue to impact lives in our country especially those socially and economically marginalized. For those who have not started supporting our effort, we love you to become part of the work we do in the service of the poor and marginalized.

In the picture, we see SAID's field staff conducting testing, sensitization, prevention and care of malaria.

Teddy Ihens
SAID, Owerri
Director of Operations

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