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Analytical summary - Malaria

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Malaria is a major public health problem in Zambia and has for a long time remained the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the country. A total of 3.2 million cases (confirmed and unconfirmed) were reported in 2009, leading to approximately 4,000 deaths . Notwithstanding this situation, Zambia has made considerable progress in the fight against malaria, implementing effective malaria prevention, treatment and care interventions across the country.

Strong partnerships have also been established, with appropriate coordination mechanisms. As a result of all these efforts, over the past 5 years, malaria incidence decreased, from 412 cases per 1,000 in 2006 to 246 cases per 1,000 population in 2009. The figure presents the trends in the incidence of malaria in Zambia, from 2000 to 2009.

Zambia Malaria Trends 2000 2009

These achievements could be attributed to the continued scaling up of high impact preventive, curative and care interventions, particularly: Vector control, using Indoor Residual Spraying and Insecticide Treated Nets; Intermittent Presumptive Treatment of Malaria in Pregnancy; Malaria Case Management; Coartem use; and introduction and scaling out of the use of Rapid Diagnostic Tests in health facilities that do not have microscopy services.

Based on available evidence, and the National Malaria Programme Review 2010 (MPR-2010), Zambia could be stratified into three malaria epidemiological zones:

Zone 1: Areas where malaria control has markedly reduced transmission and parasite prevalence is <1% (Lusaka city and environs).

Zone 2: Areas where sustained malaria prevention and control has markedly reduced transmission and parasite prevalence is at or under ~10% in young children at the peak of transmission (Central, Copperbelt, North-western, Southern, and Western Provinces).

Zone 3: Areas where progress in malaria control has been attained, but not sustained and lapses in prevention coverage have led to resurgence of infection and illness, and parasite prevalence in young children exceeds 20% at the peak of the transmission season (Eastern, Luapula, and Northern Provinces).