Transaid and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), in collaboration with a consortium of partners and the Zambian National Malaria Elimination Centre (NMEC), have completed the 12-month MAMaZ Against Malaria (MAM) programme pilot with exceptional success – saving the lives of many children in Serenje district, Zambia.
During the pilot, severe malaria child case fatality was drastically reduced from 8% to 0.25%, with three recorded deaths during the 12-month study period compared to 97 deaths that would have been expected in this period.
“The number of lives saved is a real testament to how important timely access to healthcare services is and we’re delighted to be able to share such excellent results and are now looking at how this approach can be scaled up across Zambia,” said Caroline Barber, CEO of Transaid.
Transaid and MMV worked in collaboration with the National Malaria Elimination Centre (NMEC) of Zambia to procure WHO-prequalified Rectal Artesunate Suppository (RAS). All suspected severe malaria cases identified in the community were given RAS) and referred to a health facility. In addition, the project’s Emergency Transport System (ETS) supported more than 70% of all suspected severe malaria cases, with 1,066 transfers made to a health facility.
Severe malaria is highly prevalent in children under the age of five in the Serenje District. The MAM programme pilot set out to improve malaria case management by introducing RAS and increasing access to other key malaria medicines by strengthening the Emergency Transport System (ETS) and equipping communities with additional bicycle ambulances and training new riders.
“The strong partnership with NMEC and District Health Management Team (DHMT) has really made this project so successful. We have all worked together to achieve these results. The ETS component was absolutely integral to the success and we want to thank the partners and the communities for embracing the challenge of bringing RAS to Zambia for the first time and ensuring its availability in rural areas,” said Victor Simfukwe, Transaid’s project manager in Zambia.
The MAM project has also caught the imagination of the UK transport industry, which has appreciated how a functioning supply chain can save children’s lives. Additional support for the project raised at industry events have allowed Transaid to expand the reach of the project with additional bicycle ambulances and training.