More Children Receiving the Right Diagnosis and Treatment for Malaria at the Community Level

Results from IntraHealth’s malaria work in Senegal show encouraging improvements in community-based health care.

IntraHealth has demonstrated the potential for significant improvements in prompt and effective malaria treatment at the community level in Senegal, with a recent evaluation showing the proportion of children going to local health facilities for care increasing five-fold in three years.

IntraHealth implemented the Pfizer Mobilize Against Malaria Program (MAM) in the Tambacounda region of Senegal from 2007-2011. The program, as part of Pfizer’s signature philanthropic investment in malaria, involved local partners and stakeholders and a global evaluation team from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).

Through MAM Senegal, IntraHealth rehabilitated community-based ‘health huts’ in three districts of Tambacounda, a geographically challenging region with a highly dispersed population. Frequent monitoring data gathered by IntraHealth, in collaboration with the LSHTM, enabled the project to develop responsive and innovative approaches to implementation.

LSHTM’s research findings demonstrate that many communities invested their time, commitment, and resources to build and maintain their own local sources of basic health care.

The proportion of children under five with a fever who sought treatment outside the home has remained at around 60% since 2008. However:

  • Of those children who did seek care outside the home, the proportion going to a health hut increased from 12.8% in 2008 to 63.9% in 2011.
  • Use of rapid diagnostic tests in health huts increased from 38.1% in 2010 to 71.8% in 2011.
  • Where children tested positive for malaria, appropriate treatment with an Artemisinin-combination therapy (ACT) increased from 58.1% in 2010 to 78.2% in 2011.
  • The proportion of children receiving ACT within 48 hours improved from 45.6% in 2008 to 59.2% in 2011.

The impact of the project’s day-to-day work was documented in a short video produced by the LSHTM. The film, which demonstrates key program approaches and achievements, was launched in May 2012 at a dissemination meeting in Dakar and was viewed by stakeholders, the National Malaria Control Program staff, representatives from other nongovernmental organizations, implementers, and donors.