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Training to improve malaria control in southern Angola

The MENTOR Initiative is supporting the training of 250 health workers (doctors, nurses and lab and pre-natal service technicians) and 120 Community Health Workers in malaria case management and surveillance, monitoring and evaluation in the southern Angolan provinces of Cunene and Cuando Cubango.

The training, which is key to support the elimination of malaria in the south of the country bordering Namibia, is addressing the critical gap in this work over the past few years caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is urgently needed for good case management and to prepare the health system for complicated malaria cases, which are expected as the decline in malaria transmission in the area is reducing naturally acquired immunity. And better reporting practices will improve malaria surveillance to ensure the most effective elimination strategy is implemented.

The training is being delivered by both traditional methods and using the e-learning platform Kassai (developed by PSI Angola and Appy People in Angola) This hybrid learning model makes sure the training is accessible and allows provinces to do refresher training and train new health workers over time.

MENTOR’s Senior Malaria Coordinator in Angola, Francisco Samandjata said:

“A major challenge is the locations of the training – some of these districts are hardly accessible. This constitutes a major effort to ensure health workers in the most remote areas are trained on best practices for malaria case management.

“It is extremely important to improve surveillance practices in the south. As transmission is getting more scattered and residual, accurate reporting is essential to identify pockets of transmission.

“A focus on improved reporting practices will help efforts that are in place to translate reported data into analysed outputs, which can be used for data driven decision making. High quality data is essential for making good decisions regarding interventions and will also be thoroughly discussed during the training.”

Naldina Miranda, a nurse from Namacunde Municipal Hospital, said:

“This training is so important to refresh our knowledge as there are severe capacity gaps in malaria case management with health facility staff. It is also important for us to be exposed to new training methodologies like e-learning through Kassai.”

MENTOR’s kay partner in this programme is the National Malaria Control Program and Provincial and District health administrations. It is funded by Global Fund through SADC Elimination 8 Secretariat.