Global Health Security: Our Impact

 {Photo Credit: Samy Rakotoniaina/MSH}A USAID Mikolo-supported Community Health Volunteer makes a home visit.Photo Credit: Samy Rakotoniaina/MSH

Madagascar experienced a surge in malaria cases in 2015, particularly in the southwestern regions, despite the Ministry of Public Health’s efforts to combat the disease. Interventions such as insecticide-treated bednet distributions and indoor spraying proved insufficient to deal with malaria in rural areas.

 {Photo credit: Brian W. Simpson}The Global Fund’s Peter Sands speaking at a #WHA71 side event in Geneva on May 22, 2018.Photo credit: Brian W. Simpson

(This article was originally published in Global Health NOW.) by Brian Simpson Brian W. Simpson, editor-in-chief, Global Health NOW GENEVA – Global Fund executive director Peter Sands set an ominous challenge before experts at a Monday side event of the World Health Assembly: “The number of infectious disease outbreaks is going up,” Sands said. “This is not a problem that is going away as mankind gets bigger and richer. This is a problem the seems to be increasing in magnitude.”

{Photo Credit: MSH}Community members discuss plague response.Photo Credit: MSH

Bubonic plague is endemic in Madagascar. Typically, the country experiences 400 to 600 cases of the disease each year. However, in 2017 the plague also took the pneumonic form. Between August 1 and November 26 there were 2,417 confirmed, probable, and suspected cases of plague, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). More than three-quarters of the cases were clinically classified as pneumonic.

Health extension worker Lemlem Worku gives Zara Ahmed amoxicillin antibiotics for her 10 month old baby.Photo credit: UNICEF Ethiopia / CC BY-NC-ND

Devex has reported on the role of well-trained health workers in the fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Increasing levels of AMR — a result of the misuse of drugs, poor-quality medication and improper prescriptions, among other factors — is a threat not only to people’s health, but also to the global economy, poverty levels, and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

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