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IntraHealth will lead a five-year, $1.5 million, Pfizer-funded project to fight malaria in Senegal. The project is part of Pfizer’s Mobilize against Malaria Program, funded through the company’s Enabling Global Health Care Initiative. The malaria program is designed to help close critical gaps in malaria treatment and education in Ghana, Kenya and Senegal.
The program’s goal is to increase the number of people who seek and receive effective anti-malaria medication. IntraHealth will collaborate with the Senegal Ministry of Health and Pfizer to design, implement and monitor a community-level malaria prevention and treatment program.
“What a wonderful opportunity to bring private-sector resources to bear on this serious health problem,” said Pape Gaye, president and CEO of IntraHealth International. “We hope to use our experience with the prevention and treatment of malaria and other diseases in communities throughout Africa to make this project a success.”
As a part of the project, IntraHealth will develop training programs for health care staff and volunteers to build skills related to malaria treatment and prevention. IntraHealth will create a strategic advisory board made up of national, regional and district members to assist in developing resources and creating policies to support malaria care and prevention. IntraHealth will also implement communication campaigns to raise community awareness of malaria prevention and treatment.
Malaria accounts for 28% of deaths among children under five years of age in Senegal, and is the second greatest cause of death for all Senegalese (WHO, 2006). Worldwide, malaria kills over a million people every year, with nearly 90% of the cases occurring in sub-Saharan Africa. The economic impact of malaria in Africa has been estimated at over $15 billion a year.
“This grant will give us important new resources for combating malaria,” said Cristina Bisson, country director for IntraHealth International in Senegal. “Our team is excited about being able to do even more, working with the Ministry of Health and community leaders to improve health care in Senegal.”