Malaria is still a major public health problem in Mozambique. In Mozambique, malaria is endemic and the entire population is at risk of contracting the disease. Malaria is considered the most important public health problem in the country, accounting for 29% of all deaths and 42% of deaths in children less than five years old5. Most of the country has year-round malaria transmission with a seasonal peak during the rainy season from December to April. Although there is a decrease in malaria mortality in recent years, malaria remains one of the main causes of morbidity and mortality. In fact, the 2015 annual report from the Malaria Prevention and Control Program at the Ministry of Health stated that there had been a 6% increase in malaria prevalence since the year prior. The 2015 IMASIDA summary of preliminary data also reported an increase in malaria prevalence. In 2015, the prevalence of malaria in children 6-59 months was 40%, which increased from 35% in 20116. In addition, there is a stark contrast in prevalence among children 6-59 months in rural (47%) and urban areas (19%) and the provinces in the north of the country have higher malaria prevalence and morbidity than the south and central regions.
Nampula Province is one of the most populated provinces in Mozambique and characteristically has a high burden of disease and poverty. It has a high prevalence of malaria with 291 cases per 100,000 people7, and in 2015 it was the province with the highest increase in malaria incidence.
“Netting Malaria” is a project managed by N’weti funded by Comic Relief to combat the high prevalence and high mortality of malaria in Nampula province, specifically in the districts of Nampula and Ribáué. The goal of the project is to increase the demand for and quality of primary health care in communities affected by malaria, increase knowledge of malaria causes, symptoms and prevention measures and to increase positive health seeking behavior. The specific expected outcomes of the project are:
• Increased communities’knowledge and awareness on malaria prevention, diagnosis, treatment, febrile illnesses and health rights;
• Increased uptake of and access to health services for diagnosis, treatment of malaria and febrile illnesses and;
• Increased citizens’ demand for quality health services and accountability by health providers.