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A new report released today by the World Health Organization highlights Zambia’s dramatic successes in controlling malaria. The 2009 World Malaria Report, which compiled data from 108 malaria-endemic countries, spotlights global progress in expanding coverage of bednet ownership, use of artemisinin-based combination therapies, and other interventions to protect against malaria. In Zambia, where the government has scaled up prevention and treatment methods, child mortality rates have dropped a dramatic 35 percent between 2001 and 2007, according to records from health facilities and a 2007 Demographic and Health Survey.

The World Malaria Report notes that Zambia has demonstrated how a country and its partners can implement the current package of malaria control interventions to reduce the health burden of malaria. The report cites Zambia’s successes in reducing cases of malaria and malaria deaths as evidence that intensive scale-up of malaria control interventions could help many African countries reduce child mortality rates by  two-thirds by 2015—one of the eight Millennium Development Goals.

Zambia’s National Malaria Control Centre (NMCC) has been working closely with its partners—including the Malaria Control and Evaluation Partnership in Africa (MACEPA) at PATH—to rapidly scale up the distribution of insecticide-treated bednets, the application of insecticides in homes, and the rollout of lifesaving medicines.

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Posted December 15, 2009.