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Canada Supports Ground-Breaking Malaria Treatment Program in Sub-Saharan Africa
Date:12/2/2008

WASHINGTON, Dec. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Population Services International (PSI) is launching a new comprehensive project that could dramatically reduce the number of African children dying every year from malaria. The program will provide free artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACT) given by local community health workers to poor children suspected of having malaria. This quick-response approach to treatment will be monitored to determine if it reduces the number of African children dying from malaria. It is estimated that this program will avert half a million malaria cases and 11,000 child deaths in each of the four pilot areas.

The project is funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and led by the non-profit organization PSI in collaboration with TDR, the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases. TDR is supported by UNICEF, United Nations Development Program, the World Bank and the World Health Organization. Four African countries will be selected based on a range of criteria, including high malaria burden and the existence of community health networks, through which free anti-malarial medicines and associated health promotion communications will be delivered.

What makes this program groundbreaking is that the effectiveness of the home-based approach for delivering ACT, on child mortality has never before been monitored. ACT is not yet widely available, particularly for the most poor and vulnerable people. By measuring the health impact of home-based management of malaria (HMM) with ACT over the next 2-3 years, PSI and TDR believe that the results of the project will serve as a powerful catalyst for the adoption and expansion of these programs across sub-Saharan Africa.

The majority of the 1 million people who die of malaria every year are African children under the age of five. Malaria can progress quickly in children, with as little as
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SOURCE Population Services International
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