Controlling of Malaria upsurge in Bangladesh: BRAC's experience

Introduction: In Bangladesh, malaria is endemic in 13 districts that are bordering mostly with India and a small part with Myanmar, and 13.25 million people are at risk. More than 90% cases are reported from three hilly and one coastal districts. Incidence of malaria was gradually deceasing over the past few years, but there was a sudden upsurge in 2014. Method: BRAC is a partner of national malaria control programme. It has deployed community based service providers to provide diagnosis and treatment, and disseminate preventive messages during their day-to-day household visits. Different approaches were taken to mitigate the upsurge in addition to regular activities. Mass screening in hot sport areas, special health campaigns and recruitment of additional health workers in hard-to-reach areas were done to ensure universal access to malaria services. Severe malaria patients were effectively managed through referral and proper management in hospitals, and continuous follow-up. Drugs and diagnostics were made available at field and facility level. Awareness activities for early care seeking and insecticidal bed-net utilisation were enhanced. Results: A total of 39,719 malaria cases were reported in 2015 which was 31% lower than 2014 (57,480 in 2014). At the same time, severe malaria cases were reduced by 50% (2,063 in 2014; 1,023 in 2015) and malaria deaths by 80% (45 in 2014; 9 in 2015). Conclusion: Continuous vigilance, community awareness, early diagnosis and prompt treatment (EDPT), hot-spot intervention and referral linkages need to be strengthened. Key words: Malaria, community based approach, EDPT

Mohammad Moktadir Kabir