Nomadic fulani communities manage malaria on the move.

As in other public health efforts, the current promotion of insecticide-treated net (ITN) usage and prompt treatment of malaria has left the nomadic populations behind. The hypothesis that nomads can apply the community-directed intervention (CDI) strategy for fever management in children under-5 was tested among nomadic Fulani communities in northeastern Nigeria.

Twenty camps selected representatives who were trained to provide artemisinin-based combination therapy and ITNs to their members. Coverage was compared with existing practice in 20 other nomadic Fulani communities. At baseline, none of the camps had ITNs, and antimalarial usage was only 2.7% in intervention camps and 5.8% in comparison camps.

The nomads redesigned the negotiated intervention delivery approach to suit their culture. Within 12 months antimalarial usage and appropriate management of malaria in children under-5 reached 88.0% and 81.7%, respectively, and within 24 months they reached 87.9% and 86.1%, respectively, surpassing the Roll Back Malaria target of 80% coverage by 2011.

In contrast, usage was <5% in the comparison camps. ITN possession reached 66.7% and 73.2% in the first and second years, respectively, within intervention camps, but was unchanged in comparison camps. However, ITN usage remained low at 21.7% in the second year (P < 0.05). When empowered, nomads will appropriately manage malaria using the CDI approach.

Partners/Funders: Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM), World Health Organisation

Source: Nomadic Fulani communities manage malaria on the move – PubMed (