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Information

  • Project Name:

    SENNAY

  • Focus Area :

    Reducig Malaria Burden Among Mobile Seasonal Workers

  • Intervention Area :

    East, Gojjam, West Gojam, and Awi Zone

  • Partner :

    French Government

Ethiopia has significantly cut malaria morbidity and mortality over the last few years. However, the disease is still a major public health problem in the lowland areas of the Amhara Region.   Malaria is a serious concern in the Amhara region of Ethiopia, particularly in the lowlands. These areas attract a high influx of seasonal mobile workers (SMWs) to work in agricultural investment corridors. SMWs mainly originate from the highlands, where malaria endemicity is relatively low, placing them at an increased risk of contracting and developing severe malaria. In 2021, reports indicated that SMWs contributed up to 80 percent of all annual malaria cases in these districts.

SMWs lack access to effective malaria prevention measures and case management services. Access to long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) and quality and timely malaria case management is low. The majority of private farms that employ SMWs do not offer free access to basic health services. Health posts providing malaria services are far from the agricultural farms where SMWs dwell.   Dwellings’ of SMWs are not suitable for Indoor residual spraying (IRS) nor for properly hanging LLINs. On the demand side, evidence suggests knowledge, demand, and uptake of existing malaria services is suboptimal. SMWs have deficient knowledge of malaria symptoms, transmission, and prevention (50.2%) and treatment-seeking behaviour is also inadequate (31.3%). Gender norms also affect treatment-seeking behaviour among SMWs. Additionally, despite high malaria prevalence among SMWs, policies, and strategic guidance do not address their specific needs. SMWs have largely been excluded from decision-making relating to malaria, with the result that interventions rarely respond to their specific needs, such as through adaptation to their living conditions.

High malaria prevalence in SMWs not only poses a health risk to this population. The importation of malaria infections and resulting outbreaks also threatens the goal of achieving malaria elimination in Ethiopia by 2030.

In response to this critical public health problem, the Health, Development, and Anti-Malaria Association (HDAMA)) is implementing a project entitled “Sennay – Reducing the Malaria Burden among SMWs through Innovative Approaches in the Amhara Region.” This project is the first ever at-scale implementation project to address the malaria prevention and control services needs of Seasonal mobile workers. The Association is funded by Expertise France/L’Initiative over 1,221, 579.13 Euros (over 72, 000, 000 Birr) and the Malaria Consortium is providing technical assistance.

The overall objective is to contribute to reducing malaria morbidity and mortality in the five target districts in the Amhara region by 2025 and to eliminate malaria by 2030. The project attempts to address the following specific objectives (SO):

  • Increase coverage and quality of SMWs friendly malaria services in the five target districts of the Amhara region by 2025.
  • Increase demand and uptake of malaria services by SMWs in the five target districts of the Amhara region by 2025 through improved knowledge, attitudes, and practice in culturally and gender-appropriate ways of SMWs.
  • To foster SMWs’ engagement in shaping malaria prevention and control interventions.
  • To advocate for the development of an implementation manual for improved provision of malaria prevention and control services to SMWs and its operationalization.

This three-year project targets a total of 822,000 SMWs across five districts in the Amhara region. The project target districts are Basso Liben, Debre Elias, Jabi Tehnan, Gozamen, and Ayehu Guagusa which attract a high influx of SMWs in agricultural investment corridors.

HDAMA is working closely with Ethiopia’s Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), the Amhara Regional Health Bureau (ARHB), DHOs, existing HEWs, HWs, agricultural investment corridors farm owners and managers, and SMWs, to address this issue and fill a gap in malaria programming in the country, while ensuring localization of malaria interventions and promoting sustainability. The project interventions align with and maximize the impact of existing FMOH and Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) priorities and efforts, including the Ethiopia Malaria Elimination Strategic Plan (EMESP), the Global Fund Malaria Grant and Health System Strengthening Grant (HSS).

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