In Burkina Faso, malaria is the leading cause of health consultation, hospitalization and death in health facilities in this West African country. More than 4 million cases of malaria were reported in Burkina Faso in 2011, according to the most recent statistics available.
Approximately 70 percent of children have been hospitalized for the disease by the time they turn five.
Malaria in pregnancy is a significant contributor to newborn deaths. Studies show that women who receive intermittent preventive treatment during pregnancy (IPTp) and use insecticide-treated bed nets reduce the risk of newborn deaths and low birth weight babies.
Jhpiego is a recognized leader in addressing malaria prevention and control, targeting both pregnant women and children under five and supporting efforts worldwide to ensure that pregnant women and their unborn babies are safe from the harmful impact of malaria.
Jhpiego has partnered with the Ministry of Health in Burkina on an ambitious $15 million project to significantly reduce malaria cases in the country and save lives.
Village leaders are important allies in the fight against malaria—encouraging women and families to use insecticide-treated bed nets, visit health facilities to prevent malaria in pregnancy and be tested when malaria symptoms occur.
“Investing in the fight against malaria will have an important benefit for child survival,” said U.S. Ambassador Tulinabo Mushingi at the launch of the Burkina project, which is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Jhpiego’s Senior Malaria Advisor in Burkina Faso, Dr. Ousmane Badolo, talks with community health workers about the needs and challenges of bringing malaria prevention services to villages in the country of nearly 16 million people.
Jhpiego’s approach is woman-focused—integrating malaria prevention and care with maternal and child health services. Through this approach, women have ready access to care and treatment to prevent and control malaria while attending prenatal care or child immunizations. This “no missed opportunities” strategy has proven successful.
Across Africa, community health workers are on the front lines of defeating malaria. They carry kits filled with supplies for testing, treating and counseling women and their families on malaria. As part of the Improving Malaria Care project in Burkina, Jhpiego is strengthening and improving the national malaria prevention and treatment program. Community case management is an integral component of the strategy to save lives.
At health facilities, nurses and midwives are the primary health care providers in identifying and treating malaria. The use of rapid diagnostic tests is critical in ensuring that malaria is properly diagnosed among women and their families so that appropriate treatment can commence. Too often, people receive treatment for malaria-like symptoms, increasing the risk that a person could become resistant to malaria drugs.
The goal of the Improving Malaria Care project is to reduce by 50 percent malaria-related deaths over five years in Burkina Faso and protect the next generation of Burkinabés against this life-threatening and debilitating disease.