214106 Cameroon Successful youth participation in community-based malaria control

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 : 8:30 AM - 8:48 AM

Ephraim Toh, MD , Health Department, Plan Cameroon, Yaounde, Cameroon
Luis Tam, MD DrPH , Plan USA, Arlington, VA
BACKGROUND. In Cameroon, at least two million cases of malaria are reported yearly from health facilities. THE PROJECT. Since 2005, Plan International, a child-centered humanitarian organization, and the Ministry of Health, are implementing a 3-year malaria control project in Akonolinga health district targeting 23,667 children under five and pregnant women. Project strategies include free distribution of long lasting insecticide treated nets, environmental cleanliness and intermittent preventive therapy (IPT) of malaria in pregnancy. The core of the behavior change communication activities are community education and mobilization by Plan-supported youth groups. Youth groups implement: (a) Plays, sketches, theaters and health talks on malaria control during public ceremonies; (b) conduct regular home visits to ensure effective use of bed nets and promote IPT; (c) organize cleanup campaigns to drain stagnant water, fill up pot holes and clear bushes; (d) organize exchange visits to learn from good performing youth groups on malaria control; (d) implement the free distribution of long lasting insecticide treated nets to under-5 children and pregnant women. RESULTS. As compared with the 2005 baseline results, the project has been responsible in 2009 for: (a) increasing the IPT coverage from 60% to 81%; (b) for increasing the percent of under-five children sleeping under a bednet from 5% to 84%, and (c) increasing the percent of pregnant women sleeping under a bednet, from 13% to 85%. CONCLUSIONS. (a) Youth and community participation can effectively control malaria; (b) Bed net use could be enhanced by frequent home visits.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the advantages and costs of involving youth groups in the promotion of malaria control.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I supervised the project described in this abstract, relating to community-based malaria control in Cameroon.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.