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World Malaria Day 2013: ‘Don’t lose momentum now’


April 25, 2013 - Malaria poses one of Afghanistan’s major health problems. World Malaria Day is on April 25. HealthNet TPO is stepping up its offensive in Afghanistan against this still deadly disease.

Despite the major progress made in the fight against malaria, more than fourteen million Afghans still run the risk of contracting the deadly infectious disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that every year over one million Afghans actually are being infected.

Very often the mosquito borne disease remains undiagnosed, which prevents timely and necessary treatment. The mortality incidence of malaria in Afghanistan is 40 deaths per 100.000 infected people (WHO, World Malaria Report 2012). Malaria hits hardest at young children.  

HealthNet TPO has been combatting the disease in Afghanistan since 2002. We are doing most of our work in the high-risk provinces. Malaria is prevalent in lower laying areas, especially in the rice-farming valleys.

The malaria programme has contributed to a country-wide reduction of 80-90% of the disease (depending on the kind of malaria). This is good news. Health workers in Afghanistan however urge governments to keep investing in malaria programmes: “We have come so far, let’s not lose momentum now”, says dr. Sohrab, research associate of HealthNet TPO Afghanistan.

An important part of the programme is the door to door free distribution of long lasting insecticide nets. These nets already offer protection to millions of Afghans.  

This year HealthNet TPO is intensifying its activities to get more mosquito nets to the Afghan families. At present we are distributing another 3 million mosquito nets in the country. In addition to this distribution of nets, health workers and health educators are being trained to provide the population more information about the disease and how they can utilize the mosquito nets most effectively.

Health workers are also being trained in the use of rapid diagnostic tests, that help start treatment sooner and with better results. Part and parcel of this community-based management of malaria is the procurement of the artemisinine and other therapies.

Surveillance sites in 18 provinces are monitoring how malaria and the programme against the disease are devolving. This research provides us with useful information about the results and can possible lead to improvements of the programme.  

Distribution of the nets


Impregnating the nets



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