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Friday 28th October 2016

Call for malaria home test kits

31st January 2007

02102006_malariaboy.jpgA report commissioned by an African women's group has called for the used of home-based malaria test kits so that women don't lose out in gender-skewed healthcare systems.

Commissioned by Femmes Africa Solidarite and released at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa on January 25, the report recommends the use of home-based malaria test kits based on a pilot study carried out by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 135 remote villages in Rattanakiri province, north-eastern Cambodia.

Such kits helped cut malaria deaths in the region by nearly a third, the group said, adding that access to malaria prevention methods and treatment was crucial in Africa, where pregnant women and those with HIV/AIDS were particularly at risk.

Research has shown that African women have such heavy workloads that they often find it difficult to access healthcare services. Culturally, women tended not to express health needs, or might be perceived as sexually disloyal if they visited a male health worker, the report said.

It called for further research to address gender-related barriers to prevention and treatment, including sexual politics in the home which might mean insecticide-treated mosquito nets were not available to all.

The report was jointly authored by the Global Gender and Malaria Network, which comprises the WHO's Roll Back Malaria Initiative, Femmes Africa Solidarite and the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria.


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