FOCUS rolls K46m integrated malaria project in Balaka

BALAKA: The Foundation for Community Support Services (FOCUS) has disclosed that it will soon roll out a project aimed at improving uptake of malaria services, adoption of preventive and health care seeking behaviours in Balaka.

FOCUS will implement the project in the areas of Traditional Authority (T/A) Amidu and Kalembo in the district. The project, which will run for eight months, is being supported by the United States Agency for International Development and is pegged at K46 million.

Briefing members of the district executive committee (DEC) on Wednesday, the project’s coordinator, Griffins Nyirongo said malaria is a major public health concern in Malawi and that transmission remains higher in areas with high temperatures and during rainy season particularly in low lying areas.

Some of the factors contributing to the malaria burden in Balaka comprise delays in accessing treatment within 24 hours from the onset of symptoms of malaria for under five children and pregnant women.

To increase awareness and adoption of malaria services by communities of T/As in Balaka district, FOCUS has brought in this project, he said.

Nyirongo pointed out that the project targets primary groups who are care givers such as adolescents, young married couples, parents of older children, parents of under five children and pregnant women.

Apart from the primary targets, the project will also target secondary beneficiaries which include community action groups, other care givers of children, health workers and traditional medical practitioners, he added.

Balaka District Environmental Health Officer (DEHO), Thomas Mchipha commended FOCUS for the project which would complement efforts undertaken by government in the fight against malaria.

Soon the Government of Malawi will roll out a mass distribution of mosquito nets across the country, the aim is to put malaria to rest, with the coming in of the project, it will beef up the already existing efforts that government is doing to end malaria, Mchipha said.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA

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