UNICEF and its partners respond to a resurgence of malaria cases in Chad
Near doubling of malaria-related deaths over same period last year
AM-TIMAN, Chad, 26 September 2013 – In response to a resurgence of suspected cases of malaria in several parts of Chad , UNICEF in collaboration with WHO, is implementing an integrated response to support efforts already made by the Government in areas where the resurgence is highest.
As of 22 September 2013, more than 618,000 cases of suspected malaria with 1,678 malaria-related deaths were reported nationally as compared to 412,000 suspected cases with 870 malaria-related deaths during the same period in 2012. In response, UNICEF provided medicines and diagnostic tests to support rapid control and to help treat approximately 140,000 cases of malaria. An additional emergency government order of approximately 215,000 treatments is underway through UNICEF’s support.
This week, more than 126,000 Long-Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) were provided by UNICEF and distributed to health clinics and posts in the most affected areas. Emergency stocks of bed-nets have also been distributed and made available to health districts in some regions. An additional 200,000 LLINs were provided by UNICEF to government counterparts to carry out a mass LLINs distribution campaign over the next few weeks in the Batha region of Central Chad.
These LLINs were provided by UNICEF thanks to contributions by the Government of Japan, the UN Foundation and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).
"In Chad, children under five and pregnant women are the most at risk and vulnerable,” said Bruno Maes, UNICEF Representative in Chad. “Health centres will serve as bed-net distribution points to ensure that the intervention package will reach the most vulnerable populations and affected-persons will receive adequate care.”
Thanks to Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria support, UNICEF has also mobilized 43 paramedics and five medical doctors to support health authorities at the district level to strengthen interventions against malaria, through prevention, treatment, monitoring and management. These recently mobilized health professionals will cover 43 health districts in Chad, as part of UNICEF’s collaboration with the Government to revitalize Chad’s health system.
Over the past three weeks, the health districts of Kelo (in southern Chad) and Am-Timan (in central Chad) reported the largest number of cases including a large proportion cases with complications. In line with the Government response plan, UNICEF is implementing an integrated response in these districts.
In addition to providing treatment and distributing bed-nets, the UNICEF intervention package includes screening and management of severe acute malnutrition among children under five, strengthening of antenatal services (immunization, intermittent preventive treatment , deworming, iron supplementation and folic acid), and the distribution of soap.
Malaria remains a major public health problem in Chad. According to the Malaria Indicator Survey (MIS) 2010, malaria prevalence in the general population in Chad is at 29.8 %. Prevalence varies by age group and it is as high as 35.8 % among children less than 5 years, 39.3% between 5 and 14 years of age and 15.2 % for those over 15 years of age.
Note for editors
In August 2013, the Support Fund for Population Activities and Fight against AIDS (FOSAP – “Fonds de Soutien pour les activités en matière de population et de lutte contre le Sida”) signed an agreement with UNICEF to organize a mass-campaign to distribute 5.3 million LLINs in 13 regions of Chad. This is done in support of the universal use of LLINs and will be conducted by the Government in 2013 and 2014. This agreement is part of the Transitional Funding Mechanism and New Funding Model of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. UNICEF has been selected as a secondary recipient of this funding for the implementation of this programme. Overall, Chad has benefited through this mechanism of a grant totalling more than 25 million euros from the Global Fund.
For more information about UNICEF Chad and its work visit www.unicef.org/chad
For more information:
NGATA Salomon, Communication Officer, UNICEF Chad