Life-saving malaria project in Zambia to expand

Life-saving malaria project in Zambia to expand

A consortium of partners comprising Development Data, DAI Global Health, Disacare, Transaid and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) are working with the National Malaria Elimination Centre (NMEC) in Zambia to scale up the highly successful MAMaZ against Malaria (MAM) pilot project. This comes after securing matched funding from Grand Challenges Canada (GCC) and the Government of Canada that will allow the project to benefit around four times as many people living in rural Zambia (from 54,000 to 200,000).

The new project – MAMaZ against Malaria at Scale – follows a 12-month pilot from 2017 to 2018, which reduced severe malaria fatality by 96% (from 8% to 0.25%) in Serenje district.1 This was achieved through effective community engagement, a functioning drug supply chain, implementing an innovative emergency transport system for patients using bicycle ambulances and increased access to key medicines for severe malaria.

Caroline Barber, CEO of Transaid, says: “Together with our partners, this new 18-month project will see us supporting a four-fold increase in population coverage with the potential to reach five districts, 200 communities and 38 health facilities, and save hundreds more lives. The consortium will provide strategic and technical support to NMEC as Zambia transitions to scale.”

Tendayi Kureya, the CEO of Development Data says, “In Zambia, our government is determined to eliminate malaria by 2030. This project, when fully implemented in all the districts where needed, will go a very long way in cutting child deaths due to malaria. The current funding will take us to five districts and 200,000 people. Further funding will be needed to reach all those at risk in the country.”

The project will continue to see the MAM at Scale consortium in collaboration with NMEC procure WHO quality assured Rectal Artesunate (RAS) 100mg –used to help manage severe malaria in children less than six years old at a community level before they are referred to a healthcare facility to receive injectable artesunate.

“Malaria can become deadly all too quickly, especially for children under 5 living far from health facilities,” said George Jagoe, Head of Access & Product Management, MMV. “The dramatic 96% reduction in case fatality achieved by the pilot project, demonstrates not only the undeniable benefit of using RAS and emergency transport in tandem but also the incredible life-saving impact this project could have at full scale in Zambia as well as other high-burden malaria countries.”

1. The 12-month MAMaZ Against Malaria (MAM) pilot project was led by Transaid and MMV, in collaboration with a consortium of partners and the Zambian National Malaria Elimination Centre.