In 2005, a coalition of partners, including Senegal’s National Malaria Program and PATH, began scaling up the availability of malaria diagnostics and medications in the country. They distributed more than 7 million insecticide-treated bednets—in a country with a population of about 13 million—to protect people from the mosquito-borne malaria parasite. Results were dramatic. From 2006 to 2013, malaria death rates in Senegal dropped by 62 percent.
Now, the partners have set their sights on eliminating malaria from the country all together, one community at a time.
In a blog post published recently on our sister website, Making Malaria History, three coauthors (Dr. Mady Ba of Senegal’s National Malaria Program; Phillipe Guinot, leader of PATH’s Senegal office; and Dr. Yakou Dieye of the Malaria Control and Evaluation Partnership in Africa, a program at PATH) outline a strategy for eliminating malaria in Senegal. It involves driving down infection through “broad use of diagnostics and treatment, maintenance of high levels of coverage with bednets, and the use of advanced surveillance methods to track and treat the remaining cases of the disease.”
The northern district of Richard Toll is an area of first focus. With the help of private- and public-sector partners, the team has already established areas in the district with zero malaria transmission. A special media gallery tells the story of the remarkable and encouraging advances in Richard Toll.
Now, the partners write, they are aiming to gradually expand the malaria-free areas “until entire provinces are free from the disease.”
“Decreasing the number of people who get malaria is no longer enough,” they write. “We want to continue to prioritize improving the health of our people by developing strategies to end the burden of the disease once and for all.”
- Kathleen Donnelly was formerly a writer and PATH blog editor at PATH.