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Dr. Chizema speaking at a podium.
Dr. Elizabeth Chizema of the Zambian Ministry of Health Malaria Control Program explains the recent results of the Zambia Malaria Indicator Survey. Photo: PATH.

On December 5, PATH joined the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ (CSIS) new Global Health Policy Center to co-host an event highlighting the successes of malaria control scale-up in Zambia. The Malaria Control and Evaluation Project in Africa (MACEPA) at PATH is supporting the Zambian government in its efforts to stop malaria.

Dr. Elizabeth Chizema, coordinator of the Zambian Ministry of Health Malaria Control Program and a MACEPA partner, was the featured presenter at the Washington, DC, event, entitled Successes in Malaria Control: Lessons Learned from Zambia. Chizema described the country’s dramatic malaria control progress, as evidenced by the results from Zambia’s 2008 national malaria indicator survey.

Other presenters at the event included Ben Cheng, MACEPA’s director of advocacy and communications, Dr. Trent Ruebush of the US Agency for International Development, and Dr. Susan Okie of The New England Journal of Medicine.

Zambia fighting malaria

Malaria, a disease endemic to all nine of Zambia’s provinces, is an urgent health priority. It accounted for approximately 36 percent of all hospitalizations and outpatient visits in Zambia in 2005, before MACEPA partnered with the country. With the determination and dedication of the Zambian government and the support of partners such as MACEPA since 2006, Zambia has scaled up the use of proven malaria control methods—including indoor residual spraying, insecticide-treated bednets, and intermittent preventive treatment for pregnant women—to help combat the burden of malaria. These efforts have paid dividends, and Zambia has made significant progress toward achieving the final goal of a malaria-free country.

Among Zambia’s successes:

  • Nearly two-thirds of the country is now covered by either an insecticide-treated bednet or recent indoor residual spraying.
  • Since 2006, more than 4.5 million insecticide-treated bednets have been delivered to households in Zambia, with a targeted outreach to hard-to-reach groups.
  • The rollout of artemisinin-based combination therapy, an effective drug treatment, is now complete, and rapid malaria tests are available nationwide.

Zambia’s commitment to the scale-up for impact approach to malaria control, as well as the principles of the “three ones”—one national plan, one coordination mechanism, and one monitoring and evaluation system—is making a big difference in the lives of Zambians.

For more information

Posted December 17, 2008.