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Fight against Malaria


Since its very creation, along the goal of contributing for a stronger and more viable civil society through own activities in the field of education, Christianity and culture, and healthcare, Communitas Foundation has set the objective to create effective examples of partnerships in international matters which would contribute to the integration of Bulgarian and the Bulgarian society to the team of the responsible and vigourous actors of global politics.
In 2007, Communitas Foundation signed a three-year grant agreement with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (The Global Fund) to donate USD3 mln to fight malaria in Senegal, within the Round 4 Strengthening the Fight Against Malaria project. In the context of the economic crisis, however, in the second year Communitas was forced to limit its total donation to USD2 mln. The project to which Communitas made its contribution was carried out within five years (September 2005 - August 2010) with a total budget of USD28.7 mln, whereby the Communitas donation amounted to nearly 30% of the spendings on the last stage of the project. 

The Effects from the Communitas Contribution:

- morbidity rate in children under 5 years of age dropped from 23.8% in 2007 to 6.1% in 2008;
- morbidity rate among pregnant women dropped from 16.3% in 2007 to 3.9% in 2008;
- mortality rate due to malaria in children under 5 years of age dropped from 21.5% in 2007 to 11.2% in 2008;
- mortality rate due to malaria among pregnant women dropped from 9.1% in 2007 to 4.7% in 2008.
In its essence, the project which leads to these results is creating an effective infrastructure for prevention from malaria, as well as timely treatment. A special target of all malaria projects is the health of children aged under five and of pregnant women, because in their cases malaria most often results in heavy damages and death. The most effective prevention of malaria is the use of insecticide treated nets (ITN, esp. long-lasting treated nets - LLTN) to cover the beds for protection in the sleep. The most effective treatment of malaria is through administration of artemisinin combined therapy (ACT), and timely and systemic diagnosing. The Programme provides for the ITNs and the teatment and vaccine medical products, as well as the diagnostic sets. They are being distributed amongst people and health centres primarily through a network of indigenous NGOs and grassroots organisations, volunteers and government institutions. In this way, an indirect, but targeted result of the malaria programme of The Global Fund in Senegal is the permanent engagement and education of the general population, the NGOs and the grassroots organisations. 
Between 1 January 2008 and 31 August 2009, the Global Fund budget, including the Communitas Foundation grant, contributed in Senegal for the following:
- ACT was applied to 517,840 children under five with not complicated malaria;
- 342,786 pregnant women were administered at least two doses of the antimalaria vaccine IPT in the second and third trimester of the pregnancy in the course of prenatal consultation;
- over 200,000 patients with not complicated malaria were treated with timely and correct diagnosis, following the national instructions;
- over 200,000 patients with severe malaria were administered correct treatment;
- 1,200,000 ITNs were distributed among population;
- 2,459 "service providers" were trained to deal with malaria cases in health institutions, in line with the national instructions.   

Why did Communitas Foundation choose particularly The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as a partner, why this particular cause, and why particularly Senegal?

- In 2004 was launched the Copenhagen Concensus Project which gathered eight of the world's most distinguished economists to discuss, assess and rank the most pressing global challenges and the approaches to dealing with them, in view of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) (until 2015). The Expert Panel concluded that dealing with the problems of AIDS/HIV, hunger, free trade and malaria is of highest priority. To identify which solutions should be pursued first, the experts were asked the question:

If the world decided to spend $50 billion on improving global welfare, which projects should we start with?

Rated number four priority among most effective approaches was the fight against malaria. In 2008 the Copenhagen Consensus Project once again ranks the fight against malaria in the top tasks of the global elite. How? - By prevention and timely treatment. 

-  The WHO, UN and RBM (RollBackMalaria) data on malaria in the period 2004-2006: Nowadays, around 40% of the global population is under the threat of malaria. By the 2004 WHO and UN data, 107 countries and territories have declared that they have malaria risk areas. By the 2004 RBM data, annually there are over 300 mln severe malaria cases, and at least 1 mln malaria deaths. In sub-Saharan Africa: 90% of the deaths are due to malaria; 20% of the mortality among children under five years of age is due to malaria; malaria presents 10% of the health burden of the continent; 40% of the healthcare expences are related to malaria. Every 30 seconds there is a child in Africa who dies of malaria. Severe malaria in children often causes permanent mental retardation because of its direct impact on blood and brain. Pregnant women, especially those fist-time pregnant, are particularly vulnerable to malaria. Very often in their cases symptoms are not clearly presented and malaria results in anemia and underdevelopment of the fetus. The economic burden: every year the total annual loss of the malaria affected states in Africa is USD12 billions; every year malaria leads to the loss of 45 mln years of productive life; it is calculated that in the countries from intensive malaria areas the economic growth drops by averagely 1.3% due to malaria. Control over malaria is recognized as a key factor for fighting poverty and for the achievement of the MGD.

- The Global Fund was found in result of the 2000 G-8 meeting and the 2001 Abuja Meeting, with the administrative support of the WHO and with the World Bank as a Member of its Management Board. The Global Fund acts rather as a financial instrument, by which resources are managed and distributed through independent and technical procedures. More about the efficiency of The Global Fund and its examplary management of healthcare projects one can find here. An analysis and assessment of the role of the Global Fund financing designated for fighting malaria, and the price of a saved human life one can read here. Here is a case study of the Senegal progress in the fight against malaria in pregnant women.

- Communitas Foundation aimed at projects with clear measurable results which would serve an example for effective spending of a donation.

- Senegal and Bulgaria are comparable in terms of population size, and in this way, the results on such matters, which are otherwise very distant and beyond the general context of the life in Bulgaria, can be "translated" into more comprehensive parameters, such as the value of a human life. Thus, it is the Communitas intention to incline people in Bulgaria into assuming a more participatory and responsible role in solving the global problems, as citizens of Europe and part of the Christian civilization. 

A short glimpse beyond the numbers - in two days - in frames - in memory fragments


On 7 September 2000, in his official statement at the Millennium Meeting in New York, President Petar Stoyanov declared the support of Bulgaria for strengthening the UN role in coping with the global problems, and Bulgaria joined the efforts for achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Goal #4 is "decrease of children mortality".