Malaria remains the main cause of death among children under five in sub-Saharan Africa; where every two minutes, one child dies. In the Central African Republic (CAR), malaria is a leading cause of child morbidity and mortality. The disease is transmitted permanently throughout the year with an increase of cases during the rainy season.
The overall objective of the Long-lasting Insecticidal Net (LLIN) mass campaign is to contribute to 50% reduction in malaria-related morbidity and mortality among the general population, including pregnant women and children under five. The mass distribution campaign aims to hand over about 917,000 LLINs for free to 338,995 households. All the mosquito nets have been acquired through funding from the Global Fund (GF), and will enable the Ministry of Health and Population –in collaboration with World Vision and other implementing partners– to ensure universal coverage of LLINs to the population of the Health Region area N°1.
Throughout the distribution campaign, volunteering agents went to door-to-door across the target areas, not only to hand over the nets but to provide advice on use and maintenance. COVID-19 prevention has been part of the key messages led to the community’s beneficiaries. Along with the mass distribution campaign, the Ministry of Health and World Vision have collaborated to disseminate key messages for good practices and behaviour change in the fight against malaria, which have been regularly broadcast on community radio in local languages.
From 24 to 29 October 2020, the Ministry of Health & Population, in collaboration with World Vision, led interventions in the Health Region area N°1 (RS1) where the 2020 mass campaign took place.
Teams from the Ministry of Health and World Vision, in close collaboration with national NGOs (MAHDED, ACAMS and REMOD), implemented the mass distribution campaign through advocacy meetings with community opinion leaders, and social mobilisation within the targeted community.
Helene, the Mayanga District Chief’s wife was the first one to receive a a mosquito net. Grateful, she said: “I am so glad to receive this pack of mosquito net. We can protect our grandchildren against the mosquito bites that are at the origin of the malaria cases that remain the primary cause of morbidity and mortality in CAR”. She took advantage of the opportunity to also advise community members on the correct use of LLINs.
A supervisory team consisting of members from the ministry of Health, Country Coordinating Mechanism, and World Vision travelled through the cities at the same time the distributions were going on, in order to identify and propose measures to mitigate challenges and support the distribution team. In addition, we noted the participation of the population, including administrative and local authorities as well as civil society actors in this campaign.
Over 7,955 local volunteers participated actively as volunteers (household mobilisers, town announcers, independent monitors, supervisors, local government storekeepers, store security officers, conveyors and LLIN distribution point team members for the duration of the mass campaign).
By Bertrand Gaïlemas, Senior Communication and Public Engagement Officer - World Vision, CAR