Doubling National Efforts to Control and Eliminate Malaria in Zambia
AbstractIn 2009, Zambia received accolades of praise from the World Health Organization (WHO) for demonstrating 66% decline in malaria deaths and there was a clear indication, then, that the country had reached the 2010 Roll Back Malaria target of a more than 50% reduction in malaria mortality compared to the 2000 baselines of malaria morbidity and mortality (1,2). As a result of this achievement, during that year's World Malaria Day commemoration held on 25 April 2009, Zambia's efforts and achievement were celebrated and promoted as a model for other countries to follow. This remarkable achievement was attributed to the country's multi-front approach to control and case management of malaria involving mass use of long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets (LLITNs), scale-up of indoor residue spraying (IRS) and effective case management of malaria by the introduction of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria. However, barely four years down the line, these achievements seem to be slipping away. What has gone wrong? Can this seeming slump in national malaria control activities be corrected and if so how? This editorial of the current issue of JABS attempts to address these vexing questions by giving a snap review of the national and world-wide scored successes in malaria control activities, lessons learnt and thereby charting an evidence-based way forward.