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  1. 1
    Peer Reviewed

    Use of intermittent presumptive treatment and insecticide treated bed nets by pregnant women in four Kenyan districts.

    Guyatt HL; Noor AM; Ochola SA; Snow RW

    Tropical Medicine and International Health. 2004 Feb; 9(2):255-261.

    The roll back malaria (RBM) movement promotes the use of insecticide-treated bednets (ITNs) and intermittent presumptive treatment (IPT) of malaria infection as preventive measures against the adverse effects of malaria among pregnant women in Africa. To determine the use of these preventive measures we undertook a community-based survey of recently pregnant women randomly selected from communities in four districts of Kenya in December 2001. Of the 1814 women surveyed, only 5% had slept under an ITN. More than half of the 13% of women using a bednet (treated or untreated) had bought their nets from shops or markets. Women from rural areas used bednets less than urban women (11% vs. 27%; P < 0.001), and 41% of the bednets used by rural women had been obtained free of charge from a research project in Bondo or a nationwide UNICEF donation through antenatal clinics (ANCs). Despite 96% of ANC providers being aware of IPT with sulphadoxine–pyrimethamine (SP), only 5% of women interviewed had received two or more doses of SP as a presumptive treatment. The coverage of pregnant women with at least one dose of IPT with SP was 14%, though a similar percentage also had received at least a single dose as a curative treatment. The coverage of nationally recommended strategies to prevent malaria during pregnancy during 2001 was low across the diverse malaria ecology of Kenya. Rapid expansion of access to these services is required to meet international and national targets by the year 2005. The scaling up of malaria prevention programmes through ANC services should be possible with 74% of women visiting ANCs at least twice in all four districts. Issues of commodity supply and service costs to clients will be the greatest impediments to reaching RBM targets. (author's)
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  2. 2

    The Africa malaria report 2003.

    World Health Organization [WHO]; UNICEF

    [Geneva, Switzerland], WHO, 2003. 69, [43] p. (WHO/CDS/MAL/2003.1093)

    This report is an initial effort to collect, analyse, and present information on the malaria situation. The report focuses on Africa and specifically on those African countries with the highest burden of the disease. These countries bear more than 90% of the global malaria burden. Emphasis is also given to the technical strategies for malaria control established by the Roll Back Malaria Partnership and the targets set at the Abuja Summit. In addition, with due regard to the importance of understanding the resource requirements of malaria control, a chapter on resource mobilization and financing is included. The data contained in this report have been drawn from a variety of sources in order to provide the most complete picture of the malaria situation in Africa. The UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys and the and Health Surveys, in particular, are national surveys that represent a major advance in collection of baseline data to provide benchmarks against which progress can be measured. It is fully expected that the recent consensus on core data needs, well coordinated efforts to collect data, and progress in solving methodological and other data collection problems will together fulfil the new demands for malaria information. (excerpt)
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  3. 3

    River blindness. Protection for 54 cents a year.

    Vieta F

    UN CHRONICLE. 1998; (1):12-3.

    Infection by onchocerca volvulus, a parasitic worm, causes onchocerciasis (river blindness), a debilitating and often blinding disease endemic to tropical areas of Africa and Central and South America. The adult onchocerca volvulus invades the human host where it lives and reproduces for up to 14 years, creating millions of infant worms which cause itching, loss of skin color, rapid aging, and disfiguring skin disease in the host. Onchocerciasis often causes blindness in the human host by approximately age 35 years, and is the third leading cause of blindness in Africa. Onchocerca volvulus is transmitted among humans through the bite of blackflies which breed in fast-flowing rivers. The Onchocerciasis Control Program (OCP) was formally launched in 1974 by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN Development Program (UNDP), the World Bank, and the World Health Organization (WHO) in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, Mali, Niger, and Togo. Vector control is the central strategy of the OCP, consisting of weekly helicopter spraying of larvacide to prevent the blackfly from reproducing and transmitting the disease. In addition, Merck & Co. is providing drug therapy against the infant worms in the human host free of charge to 16 million people in endemic areas. Onchocerciasis has now almost been eradicated in the 7 original target countries. Also through the OCP, by 1996, more than 34 million people were protected against the disease, about 2 million who were seriously infected have fully recovered, and an estimated 600,000 people have been prevented from going blind. 12 million infants born since the launch of the OCP face no risk of contracting the disease, and approximately 25 million hectares of arable fertile riverine land has been opened for resettlement. Labor productivity has also increased.
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