Our actions : Malaria
Documenting the fight against the epidemic
In 2018, the number of malaria cases worldwide was estimated at 228 million. Malaria is responsible for nearly 405,000 deaths a year. Children under 5 years old are the most vulnerable population to this disease: in 2018, they accounted for 67% of all malaria deaths worldwide. Following progress made since the 2000s, the data for 2015-2017 shows no significant progress towards reducing the number of malaria cases. Three factors contribute to the spread of malaria:
- Stagnation of investments
- Insecticide and antimalarial resistance in the Mekong region
- Climate change and migration
Given these challenges, L'Initiative decided to support research programs to improve intervention strategies in the fight against malaria.
According to the World health organization (WHO), operational research refers to the use of systematic research techniques for decision-making in programs to achieve a specific outcome. Operational research provides policy makers and technical decision-makers with information they can use to improve program operations. In the fight against malaria, operational research helps to design the tools best suited to the challenges posed by this disease.
COLLECTING RELIABLE AND UP-TO-DATE DATA
Through operational research programs, scientific data can be collected in the field: studying mosquito malaria vectors, conducting patient assessments...
Collecting data and training researchers
Between 150,000 and 320,000 malaria cases are recorded each year in Mauritania. Yet, few epidemiological studies have been conducted in the country and existing data is out-of-date. Updating epidemiological data using reliable diagnostic tools and recent entomological studies was crucial to the project.
The knowledge gained from operational research has a practical impact on improving control programs’ strategies and interventions as they are implemented: the intervention methods can be adapted based on the results of the research.
Understanding residual malaria transmission
The REACT project focuses on the resistance of mosquitoes to mosquito net insecticides and tests the impact of four new Long lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) LLINs on malaria transmission.
The results of operational research have supported country funding requests and backed them up with scientific evidence. In this way, the Global Fund estimates that 5 to 10% of all grants should be dedicated to monitoring and evaluation, including research projects.
Identifying the obstacles to protecting pregnant women against malaria
The "EVALMOUS 2" epidemiological study is the second part of a first study carried out in the lake regions of Benin on the use of mosquito nets among pregnant women in the first trimester of pregnancy. EVALMOUS 2, funded by the Initiative and conducted by IRD and the University of Abomey-Calavi, seeks to confirm (or refute) the results of the first study, by positioning itself in 12 health centres throughout the country. The long-term objective is to support the National Malaria Control Programme in the establishment of the National Strategic Plan 2021, in particular through the possible revision of the awareness of pregnant women.