Toward a malaria-free Zambia
Zambia has made a bold commitment to malaria elimination. To help realize that goal, MACEPA is partnering with the Government of Zambia to develop strategies to eliminate malaria parasites in target areas.
Zambia’s successful scale-up
MACEPA has been working in collaboration with Zambia’s National Malaria Control Programme since 2005. The initial goal of the project was to prove that scaling up existing tools, such as long lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) and indoor spraying of insecticides (IRS), and quality case management could dramatically reduce malaria prevalence. Zambia’s scale-up efforts have resulted in significant progress—malaria parasitemia was reduced by almost 54 percent in children under five between 2006 and 2008. The Zambian approach has been replicated in other countries across Africa.
These strategies have reduced the malaria burden in some areas of Zambia sufficiently that the government is confident that it can eliminate the disease altogether. Current tools will continue to be used, but to accelerate progress and to find and cure the last cases, new, complementary approaches also are needed.
People who have been repeatedly exposed to malaria develop some immunity and are able to host parasites for long periods without ever becoming ill. Current point-of-care diagnostic tools are not sensitive enough to detect all of these infections, leaving carriers able to continue to unknowingly sustain transmission in their community.
The Zambian Ministry of Health and MACEPA are evaluating community-based treatment strategies, including mass drug administration, which have the potential to clear all malaria parasites from communities. Treating everyone in a community with safe and effective anti-malaria drugs will dramatically bring down the parasite population. When used in conjunction with vector control measures (LLINs and spraying) this approach could permanently stop disease transmission, creating a “malaria-free zone” and bringing the country closer to national elimination.
Findings of the operational research will measure whether, and to what extent, mass drug administration and other strategies were able to reduce malaria.
For more information:
- Toward a malaria-free Zambia: The latest fact sheet on MACEPA’s work in Zambia
- Zambia financial landscape (2017): An overview of malaria funding in Zambia.
- Zambia policy landscape (2017): An overview of Zambia’s current malaria policies.
- Zambia: Accelerating toward malaria elimination—Stakeholder perspectives (full report, overview)
Recent research from Zambia:
- Operational strategies of anti-malarial drug campaigns for malaria elimination in Zambia’s southern province: a simulation study. (March 2016, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, PATH MACEPA)
- Assessing the effectiveness of household-level focal mass drug administration and community-wide mass drug administration for reducing malaria parasite infection prevalence and incidence in Southern Province, Zambia: study protocol for a community randomized controlled trial (August 2015, PATH MACEPA and Tulane)
- Costs and cost-effectiveness of a large-scale mass testing and treatment intervention for malaria in Southern Province, Zambia (May 2015, PATH MACEPA and Tulane)
- A qualitative study of perceptions of a mass test and treat campaign in Southern Zambia and potential barriers to effectiveness (April 2015, PATH MACEPA and Tulane)
MACEPA’s partners in Zambia include:
- Zambia Ministry of Health and National Malaria Control Program
- Zambia Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health
- Tulane University