LUSAKA—In partnership with the Zambian government, the United States-supported Zambia Integrated Systems Strengthening Program began spraying over half a million targeted homes in Eastern, Northern, and Muchinga Provinces to kill mosquitoes that transmit malaria. If all citizens who are offered this service accept it, over 2.5 million people will benefit from malaria protection.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative, supplied equipment, materials, and training to the Zambia National Malaria Control Center for use in the 2012 indoor residual spraying season. The materials include insecticides, spray pumps, spare parts, and personal protective equipment.
“We encourage everyone to take action to prevent malaria. Allow your house to be sprayed. Sleep under a bed net. If you or your child has a fever, go to a health clinic as soon as possible and be tested for malaria,” said USAID/Zambia Mission Director Dr. Susan K. Brems. “Pregnant women should go for prenatal care early in pregnancy to receive medicine to prevent malaria.”
The American people’s contribution to Zambia’s malaria control program also includes purchasing and distributing insecticide-treated bed nets, providing rapid diagnostic malaria tests to health facilities, supplying anti-malarial drugs, strengthening the supply chain and logistics systems for malaria commodities, and training health care providers in malaria treatment.
In addition, the USAID-funded Communications Support for Health project is supporting the National Malaria Control Center’s roll-out of a nation-wide malaria prevention campaign called STOP Malaria; Let’s Do It, Zambia! The STOP Malaria campaign uses public service radio announcements, community events, brochures, question and answer booklets for health workers, and primary school quizzes to educate the public on malaria prevention. Further, the Communications Support for Health project has developed a primary school game that gives Zambia’s school teachers an entertaining way to teach students how to prevent malaria.
In 2012, the U.S. government has demonstrated its commitment to the partnership by contributing a total of $24 million to support Zambia’s National Malaria Strategic Plan.