The clock is ticking in Angola
When mother Soraia and her son Joao come to the aid station with a high fever, it appears that he is infected with malaria, the number one killer of children in Angola. First Soraia gave her son paracetamol. She continued to give him pills for two weeks, but the fever persisted. Finally she brought him to the help center. A gripping 60% of the children in Angola, younger than 7, die of malaria. Since 2007, Drive Against Malaria has taken action with the distribution of 214,000 mosquito-killing nets, medication and diagnosis, together with our national partners.
Significant progress has since been made in which the number of deaths among children has fallen from 60% to 35%. Drive Against Malaria undertook major missions in Angola in 2016 to save more than 80,000 children. However, malaria is currently still the biggest health problem in Angola. The traces of the 27-year civil war are far from being erased; the infrastructure has been severely damaged and, in many areas, the land is littered with land mines, making remote villages difficult to reach.
Angola was plagued by catastrophic floods in 2015. Areas were completely flooded and unreachable. The clock is ticking and malaria is winning. Thousands of children's lives are at stake. Only 40% of the population has access to life-saving medicines for their children. It appears that deaths from malaria outweigh any crisis, according to World Health Organization representative Hernando Agudelo Ospina. Angola reports 2,915 deaths in the first quarter of that year!
The economy is collapsing. This new malaria outbreak is devastating for the country. We also see the spread and increase of infections for provinces with a lower endemic prevalence. It is a result of cutbacks, lower budgets, rising debts and the fall in oil prices that contribute to high numbers of malaria victims due to the collapse of the economy.
Medications to isolated villages
Together with our partners we make every effort to stop the spread of the deadly malaria parasite. To cope with malaria there is an urgent need for more medicines and interventions to improve the diagnosis. Drive Against Malaria sets up relief operations to bring medicines and material to the isolated villages. We need to provide assistance quickly if we want to get the disease under control.