Nothing But Nets celebrates progress in Haiti.
On World Malaria Day, The United Nation’s Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign celebrated a new milestone in the fight against malaria: incidence of the mosquito-borne disease in Haiti has been cut by as much as half since 2010.
Thanks to the work of Malaria Zero, a consortium of NGOs, universities, and local ministries of health, including Nothing But Nets, Haiti’s Ministry of Health and Population has been able to test, treat, and track malaria cases nationwide. Malaria, a preventable yet deadly illness, threatens half the world’s population and kills a child every two minutes. Malaria has affected Haiti dramatically: in 2017, Grand’Anse, a remote region in southwestern Haiti, carried more than 50 percent of the island nation’s malaria burden.
Now, thousands of Haitian health workers have committed to accelerating efforts to eliminate malaria in Haiti, with expanding efforts underway in hard-hit rural areas. Haitian outreach teams have visited more than 23,000 families in the mountainous terrain – where many must walk an hour or more to access medical care – to conduct door-to-door malaria assessments. Using this personalized approach, local teams record individual health data with tablets and treat those diagnosed with malaria.
The results are dramatic: One year after strengthening malaria monitoring, improving access to testing and treatment, and spraying at-risk indoor areas, a survey conducted by Malaria Zero showed that transmission has fallen significantly. This year, Malaria Zero will support the expansion of these efforts across the entire region, potentially protecting nearly half a million people.
“The fight against malaria must be everyone’s business because this disease spares no stratum of our respective societies,” said Martine Moïse, the First Lady of Haiti during the World Malaria Day “Zero Malaria Starts With Me!” conference in Paris. “This is a situation that continues to challenge all sectors of Haitian society including the government, civil society and all stakeholders involved directly or indirectly.”
Since 2000, the world has made extraordinary global progress in the fight to end malaria, with the Americas leading the way toward elimination of this disease. Between 2000 and 2015, increased malaria interventions cut malaria deaths by 62 percent in the Americas. But progress has been uneven and in recent years has stalled. Today, 138 million people in the Americas are at risk of contracting malaria. Partnerships between government, nonprofits, and the private sector like those in Haiti are key to a malaria-free future.
“The groundbreaking work in Haiti is moving us closer than ever to ending malaria in the Americas,” said Margaret Reilly McDonnell, Executive Director of the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign. “Zero malaria starts with us. Working together using programs like these, we must step up the fight against this terrible disease.”