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Field work has been completed in a three month long, one million dollar and nation-wide survey on Malaria in Ethiopia.
Financed by the government and development partners a similar study was conducted four years ago. Thirty one teams of over 850 data collectors and lab technicians spread out through nine regions to sample 440 distinct areas.
The survey is expected to help control the spread of the disease by identifying malaria prone areas, and providing people with the necessary prevention equipment and techniques as well as educating professionals and policy makers about the illness.
Data analysis should be completed by mid January for the survey which took a month for preparation and three months for fieldwork, according to information obtained from the Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute (EHNRI).
“This is a very crucial survey being done by the Ministry of Health (MoH). The first investigation was conducted in 2007 but we have made improvements since then. We are going throughout the country to 440 areas to observe where malaria is trending in Ethiopia,” said Dr. Amha Kebede, Acting Director General of the EHNRI.
Dr. Amha said the study was necessary to fully understand the state of malaria in the country.
Malaria, HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis are the three top killer diseases in Africa and combating them is a major millennium development goal. Though Ethiopia is expected to fulfill its commitment to the international community by 2015, 68 percent of the country lives in malaria prone areas. Children under five and pregnant women living in warm climates suffer the highest risks but anyone living or traveling in these places can become affected.
“I can assure you that Malaria has decreased significantly from where it was in the past five years,” argued the acting director general of the EHNRI.
In addition to the government, Macepa and USAID/PMI (President’s Malaria Initiative) gave financial support. The Malaria Consortium, CDC, Carter Center, and RTI provided technical assistance.