Malaria is one of the biggest challenges faced by vulnerable communities across East Africa, and remains a leading cause of death and illness in Somalia. Several challenges lead to a high mortality and morbidity rate due to malaria infections. These include lack of health posts in villages, lack of medication in villages, lack of professional doctors with microbiologist training, and lack of training in prevention techniques
Specifically in South central Zone of Somalia, Malaria remains a key public health problem affecting the communities living in Gedo region and SCZ at large. The Malaria Indicator Survey (MIS) 2014 reported a prevalence rapid diagnostic test (RDT) rate of 5.4% in Gedo region ranking it the 2nd highest after Hiraan region that recorded (12.9%). In Lower Juba the MIS 2014 reported a low RDT prevalence of 0.4%. Malaria also continues to be a leading cause of morbidity and mortality affecting mainly women and children. Within the 29 Health facilities managed by HIRDA. Women and children below 5 years of age are most affected due to low immunity and this is compounded further by the low nutritional status that prevails in the region. According to the FSNAU June 2015 quarterly report it indicates that the nutritional status in Dolow within Gedo region has remained critical for the last 2 years.
In support of the global Roll Back Malaria (RBM) partnerships goal which is to eliminate malaria as a public health problem and obstacle to social economic development: the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – Goal 6: that aims at combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases with target 8 aimed to have halted by 2015 and begun to Reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases. Indicator 21 (MDG): relates to the prevalence and death rates associate with malaria and Indicator 22: relates with the proportion of population in malaria-risk areas using effective malaria prevention and treatment measures. The National Malaria Strategic and M&E plan 2011 – 2015 aim is to achieve and sustain universal coverage resulting in 50% reduction of malaria transmission in malarious areas of the country (Southern parts of South Central zone) by 2020
Together with our partner (Global Fund) through UNICEF, HIRDA has confronted this challenge through:
Distribution of LLINs (Long Lasting Insecticidal Net) to the targeted risk groups through mass distribution
Distribution of LLINs (Long Lasting Insecticidal Net) to the targeted risk groups through continuous distribution
Vulnerable targeted groups
- RDT – Rapid Diagnosis Test , suspected malaria cases receives parasitological test at health facilities
- Confirmed malaria cases receives first-line antimalarial treatment according to national policy at public sector
- Capacity building through Trainings of hospital staffs with full malaria packages, MCH staff training, Health post staff training with medium malaria packages and Training of Community Educators who does households visits to conduct community awareness to the community.
- Through BCC ( Behavioral change & communication ) activities Commemorations of world Malaria days with the targeted community Conducting of Malaria field days at field level Conducting of community dialogues at field level Promotion of IEC (Information Education & Communication) materials in Health centers
- Provision of Emergency Lifesaving health intervention for drought Effected people in Bardera & Belet-Hawa Districts of Gedo region, Somalia through Mobile clinics.