Multi-sectoral approach in combating malaria

Jul 30, 2015

  The picture depicts the action taken to destroy larval breeding place

Malaria is a disease that is associated with poverty and development and as a result of this it is widespread in countries with the lowest human development.

As Ms. Rebeca Grynspan, UNDP Under-Secretary-General and Associate Administrator stated “Around the world, malaria is associated with poor socio-economic development, marginalization and exploitation.  These factors have dimensions that extend well beyond the health sector, calling for a multisectoral response.”

The Multisectoral Action Framework for Malaria was launched in September 2013 alongside 68th United Nations General Assembly to call for greater coordination among different sectors to combat malaria.

This Multisectoral Action Framework for Malaria makes a clear case for re-structuring the way countries address malaria.  It presents a menu of concrete, implementable processes and actions to transform malaria responses – from being a concern of the health sector only, towards a coordinated multi-pronged effort that harnesses expertise across a range of sectors and institutions.  It is a guide for policymakers and practitioners and a stimulus for innovation.  

  Malaria testing of a suspected malaria case by RDT by a local women volunteer in an established RDT passive post

In Iran, the new National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination and the Phase II of Global Fund Malaria Project has been set in line with Multisectoral approach.  As a result, activities such as larval source management, establishment of Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) posts and peer to peer education were implemented via cooperation between different sectors.  The comprehensive approach of Iran towards malaria elimination has been recognized by Dudley Tarlton, Programme Specialist, Health and Development  in UNDP Geneva in an article entitled “It is time to focus on the real drivers of malaria.”

With reference to larval source management, one of the actions which took place in Iran was the destruction of the larval breeding places- for instance in Minab, Hormozgan province by a bulldozer – as shown in picture one. 

  Peer to peer education by local volunteers

In Iran, over 400 malaria diagnostic posts in far-reached rural villages in border areas with Pakistan that provide around 200,000 high risk people with 24/7 prompt malaria diagnosis were established in collaboration with local women volunteers – as show in picture two.

Also, with reference to peer to peer education, in Iran more than 3,700 local volunteers – predominantly local women – have been trained on health related skills focusing on malaria.  They have been actively providing health services to approximately one million at risk people – as shown in picture three.  

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