25 April 2014
KELO, Chad - The Government of Chad, with support from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and UNICEF, launched a mass campaign today to distribute nearly 7.3 million long lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets.
The campaign, which began today, on the occasion of World Malaria Day, will continue over the coming weeks and will move Chad toward universal coverage.
Of the 7.3 million nets to be distributed free of charge, 5.6 million are financed by the Global Fund, 1.7 million by the Government of Chad and 200,000 have been acquired with funding from the Government of Japan, as well as 65,000 with UN Foundation funding, both through UNICEF. Nearly 10 million people will benefit and will receive protection against malaria for the next three years.
"The fight against malaria, both in its preventive and curative aspect, requires a long-time consistent investment and a strong political commitment. The investment made by the Chadian Government and its partners will make available to the population millions of mosquito nets to prevent malaria. The efforts made by the Government will continue and will allow the country to defeat this disease," said Dr Ngariéra Rimadjita, Minister of Health, Social Action and National Solidarity.
Intended to cover Chad's entire territory, the campaign will reach 13 high-risk regions, covering 48 health districts and 800 health centers, in the first phase. Supported by a large social mobilization effort, the campaign will run throughout 2014 to achieve universal coverage. The government will provide funding for the remaining 10 regions.
"Chad will be the first country in the sub-region to achieve universal mosquito net coverage," said Tina Draser, the Global Fund's Regional Manager for Western Africa. "This will not only help to save more lives, including thousands of women and children under 5 years of age, but also to strengthen health systems in Chad."
Malaria is endemic in Chad with a high prevalence in the Sudanese region (the South) and the Sahel (Central and Eastern). Children under the age of five and pregnant women are the most affected. Epidemiological analysis of Chad shows that 98 percent of the population lives in areas at risk of malaria. The prevalence of malaria is 29.8 percent in Chad, according to the 2010 Malaria Indicator Survey (MIS), with a prevalence of 35.8 percent among children under 5 years of age.
In 2013, Chad experienced a severe outbreak of malaria, with nearly 1 million suspected cases and 2,614 deaths, compared with 616,000 suspected cases and 1,359 deaths in 2012, according to data from epidemiological surveillance.
"This is a first in this part of Central Africa and brings positive progress in accelerating child survival and development in Chad. More than 8 out of 10 households will be reached and mothers and children will be able to sleep under a mosquito net, safe from the threat of malaria, which is the leading cause of infant mortality in the country," said Bruno Maes, UNICEF Representative in Chad. "Mosquito nets remain by far the best way of prevention against this disease."
In August 2013, the Support Fund for Population Activities and Fight against AIDS (FOSAP) signed a financing agreement of more than 20 million euros for UNICEF to organize the campaign distribution in 13 regions of Chad. This agreement is supported by the new funding model of the Global Fund. UNICEF has been selected as a sub-recipient of this funding for the implementation of the program. Overall, Chad has benefited through this mechanism from a Global Fund grant totaling more than €25 million.
In 2011, through funding from the Global Fund and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the country - supported by its partners - carried out mass distribution campaigns of long lasting Insecticide-treated bed nets in 9 regions, benefiting more than 3 million people.
UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org.