Malaria Zero Marks Accomplishments on 2018 Malaria Day in the Americas

Today is Malaria Day in the Americas, the annual commemoration of progress towards malaria elimination in the region and a day to raise awareness about the need for further action to reach the goal of zero transmission of the disease.

Timed with this year’s commemoration is the wrap-up of the implementation of a pilot targeted package of interventions by the Malaria Zero consortium. These interventions aim to eliminate malaria from the Grand Anse Department of Haiti, where about 50 percent of the country’s malaria cases are found.

Malaria Zero is an alliance of partners with the goal to eliminate malaria from the island of Hispaniola. During the first three years of the project, Malaria Zero partners conducted operational research, identified areas of high transmission and risk, and we are now piloting novel approaches to elimination.

The evidence-based interventions chosen for deployment during the pilot in targeted areas include mass drug administration and indoor residual spraying of insecticide on the interior walls of residents’ homes. Over the past six months, Malaria Zero has also worked hard to improve surveillance systems and community case management of malaria in the area to ensure all cases are detected and treated appropriately. Follow-up surveys will be conducted and will help determine if the interventions have contributed to a decline in malaria cases.

This is an exciting time for the consortium as we culminate almost four years of hard work to tackle malaria in Haiti. Each partner in the Malaria Zero consortium has played a distinct and important role in getting us to this point, from conducting operations research and mathematical modeling to inform our targeting strategy, to prepping the community for the interventions using radio spots.

This year, we commemorate Malaria Day in the Americas with renewed energy and focus to accelerate the work in Haiti to achieve malaria elimination.

Photos ©David Snyder/CDC Foundation

Phillippa Chadd, MPH, is a senior program officer for the CDC Foundation.