Ghana Named Lead Innovator for Long Lasting Insecticidal Mosquito Nets Distribution with Assistance from Bethesda-based University Research Co, LLC

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The Alliance for Malaria Prevention named Ghana Lead Innovator for long lasting insecticidal mosquito nets (LLINs) distribution over the past year. The award recognized Ghana’s pioneering role in national door-to-door LLIN distribution. The National Malaria Control Programme worked closely with Promoting Malaria Prevention and Treatment Project (ProMPT), a program managed by University Research Co., LLC and funded by the US Agency for International Development .

The ProMPT project distributes bednets door-to-door in Ghana to encourage their use.

"Ghana has been the first country to implement door-to-door distribution and hang-up at large scale,”

The Alliance for Malaria Prevention (AMP) named Ghana Lead Innovator for long lasting insecticidal mosquito nets (LLINs) distribution over the past year. The award recognized Ghana’s pioneering role in door-to-door LLIN distribution on a mass scale. In 2010, Ghana distributed nearly 1 million LLINs to households in northern and eastern regions using this innovative approach. The award announcement took place during the AMP partners meeting, held February 10-11, 2011 in Geneva, Switzerland.

To distribute these nets, the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) worked closely with Promoting Malaria Prevention and Treatment Project(ProMPT) and other partners including JSI’s USAID DELIVER, NetsforLife, Malaria No More UK, UNICEF, the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization (WHO). ProMPT is managed by University Research Co., LLC (URC) and it is, together with Population Council and Malaria Consortium, funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) through PMI.

“Ghana has been the first country to implement door-to-door distribution and hang-up at large scale,” said Dr. George Greer upon presenting the award. Based in Washington, DC, Dr. Greer is Senior Advisor in Child Survival and Infectious Diseases at the PMI. He also chairs AMP’s operations research working group.

Many countries are now implementing mass LLIN campaigns, but in most cases nets are distributed from a health facility or other fixed point. Ghana not only distributed nets door-to-door, it also recruited volunteers to hang the nets in each household. Volunteers provided recipients with use and care instructions as they hung the nets.

“ProMPT is a key partner of NMCP in malaria prevention and control, particularly in LLIN distribution, and we feel very proud of this award,” said Dr. Aguima Tankoano, the Chief of Party for ProMPT. “As I kept telling the NMCP, if you keep doing the same thing, you will get the same results. It is time for NMCP to change its distribution strategy.”

The goal of door-to-door hang-up campaigns is to maximize net use. Studies show that households that own nets do not always use them. By distributing nets to each household and hanging them on the spot, Ghana hopes to eliminate important barriers to net use. By the end of 2011, Ghana plans to distribute nets to a total of eight regions, putting it on target to achieve universal LLIN coverage by 2015.

AMP is part of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership Harmonization Working Group. AMP provides technical assistance to malaria-endemic countries on insecticide-treated net distribution with a particular focus on mass campaigns.

About URC

URC, which celebrated its 45th anniversary last year, is a global company dedicated to improving the quality of health care, social services, and health education worldwide. With our non-profit affiliate, the Center for Human Services (CHS), URC manages projects in over 30 countries including the United States. Based in Bethesda, Maryland, URC has about 700 employees around the world.

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Elizabeth Ransom

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