Case Study - Malaria Control in Zambia

New approaches and new partners

"According to the World Malaria Report 2010, there were 225 million cases of malaria and an estimated 781 000 deaths in 2009, a decrease from 233 million cases and 985 000 deaths in 2000. Most deaths occur among children living in Africa where a child dies every 45 seconds of malaria and the disease accounts for approximately 20% of all childhood deaths.

"Malaria is caused by Plasmodium parasites. The parasites are spread to people through the bites of infected Anopheles mosquitoes, called "malaria vectors", which bite mainly between dusk and dawn.

According the World Health Organization (2011):

  • "Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes.
  • "In 2009, malaria caused an estimated 781 000 deaths, mostly among African children.
  • "Malaria is preventable and curable.
  • "Increased malaria prevention and control measures are dramatically reducing the malaria burden in many places.
  • "Malaria can decrease gross domestic product by as much as 1.3% in countries with high disease rates.
  • "Non-immune travelers from malaria-free areas are very vulnerable to the disease when they get infected."


According to a 2009 report on Malaria in Zambia by the World Health Organization:

"Malaria deaths reported from health facilities in Zambia have declined by 66%. This result along with other supporting data indicates that Zambia has reached the 2010 Roll Back Malaria target of a more than 50% reduction in malaria mortality compared to 2000. On World Malaria Day, celebrated on 25 April, Zambia's efforts will be promoted as a model for other countries to follow. Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania, and Sao Tome and Principe are the other African countries who have achieved major reductions in malaria mortality through accelerated malaria control activities.

"The decline in Zambia was especially steep after 3.6 million long-lasting insecticidal nets were distributed between 2006 and 2008. During this period malaria deaths declined 47% and nationwide surveys showed parasite prevalence declined 53% from 21.8% to 10.2% and the percentage of children with severe anaemia declined 68% from 13.3% to 4.3%. Most moderate and severe anaemia in children is caused by malaria."

Malaria control activities accelerated

"Accelerated malaria control activities started in Zambia in 2003 when approximately 500 000 insecticide-treated nets were distributed and artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) started in seven pilot districts through a grant from the Global Fund.

"Since then, the Ministry of Health of Zambia has further expanded malaria control activities with grants worth US$ 120 million from the Global Fund and support from partners including the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI), the Malaria Control and Evaluation Partnership in Africa (MACEPA) and the World Bank Booster Program for Malaria Control in Africa."

Increasing coverage

"By 2006-2007, large amounts of insecticide-treated nets and ACT were distributed and indoor residual spraying was taking place in 15 of 72 districts in Zambia. During 2006 and 2007 insecticide-treated nets were distributed to the general population rather than only children and pregnant women, who were the primary beneficiaries in earlier campaigns.

"In countries with moderate and low transmission malaria, it appears that the Roll Back Malaria target of a more than 75% reduction is within reach several years before 2015. Aggressive malaria control measures as in Zambia may enable African countries to make rapid progress towards the Millennium Development Goals target of reducing child mortality by two thirds by 2015." (World Health Organization, 2009)


The documentary short film, Malaria Control in Zambia – New Approaches and New Partners was produced by PATH, an international nonprofit organization that creates sustainable, culturally relevant solutions, enabling communities worldwide to break longstanding cycles of poor health. By collaborating with diverse public- and private-sector partners, PATH helps provide appropriate health technologies and vital strategies that change the way people think and act. Their work improves global health and well-being. The fifteen minute film chronicles PATH and its partners helping to rapidly scale up the distribution of insecticide-treated bednets, the application of insecticides in homes, and the rollout of lifesaving medicines. In the last several years, advances in prevention and treatment have resulted in marked reductions in illness and death from malaria in Africa. PATH and partners have a more ambitious target: to end malaria in Africa altogether. They observe that we can eliminate malaria using existing tools and a focused strategy — indeed their experience templates a model to end malaria. The Malaria Control and Evaluation Partnerhip in Africa (MACEPA), a program at PATH, is charting the way toward this goal.

About the Filmmaker: Park Bench Media is a multi-disciplinary, integrated media company that creates TV shows, digital content, web videos,websites, motion graphics, and rich/interactive media.


(Photo credit: PATH)