Malaria is one of the major public health challenges in Ethiopia - an estimated 68% (52 million) of the population are at risk of contracting malaria. Transmission is seasonal and predominantly unstable, with frequent and often large-scale epidemics. The impact of malaria, in addition to its health consequences, is a significant impediment to social and economic development in the country. It causes loss of work force and time both of the sick and the family members, who provide care, depletion of income as well as school absenteeism.
Cognizant of the health and socio-economic problems the disease causes, the FMOH, Regional Health Bureaus and partners have been working jointly to strengthen access to early, adequate and equitable services for the population at risk of malaria.
The malaria prevention and control program in Ethiopia is guided by a five-year National Malaria Prevention and Control Strategic Plan developed in line with the goals of the HSDP. The goal of malaria prevention and control in Ethiopia is to reduce malaria morbidity and malaria-related mortality by 75% by the end of the year 2013 (GC) as compared to the annual averages seen in the period from 2001-2005 (GC). Major malaria targets include:
- 100% household coverage with two ITNs per household in all malarious areas.
- more than 85% of the population living in epidemic prone areas covered with indoor residual spraying above 80% of the population have access to prompt and effective treatment with artemisin-based combination therapy (ACT).
Significant reductions in malaria related deaths have been reported by health facilities, as well as a reduction in the number of epidemic affected villages. In-patient case fatality rate of malaria has reduced in all age groups. With in-patient case fatality in age group greater than 5 years falling from 4.5% to 3.3%, while the case fatality rate of malaria in age group less than 5 has fallen from 5% is 4.5% (1999 EC). Significant progress has been made in malaria control in the last three years, with a significant input of funds from a number of key donors especially the GFATM, but also including the World Bank, UNICEF, UNITAID4 and others. This progress has included the distribution of approximately 20.5 million nets resulting in a household coverage of at least 70%