Saraya and Velingara Net Distribution
Malaria No More and health partners helped the Senegalese districts of Saraya and Velingara, become the first districts in the country to achieve universal coverage: protecting every man, woman and child at risk of malaria with insecticide-treated mosquito net.
In early 2010, plans were underway for mass distributions in Velingara, a health district in southern Senegal with a population of more than 230,000, and Saraya, a district with a population of 35,000.
To kick off the distribution, Malaria No More provided 89,724 mosquito nets, donated by individual supporters all over the world. Under the leadership of the U.S. Peace Corps and in partnership with World Vision, Tostan, the National Malaria Control Program (PNLP), Sumitomo Chemical and local heath workers, volunteers conducted a door-to-door census to determine the number of nets needed in each household. Families gathered at a central point to pick up their nets after receiving detailed instructions from coordinators on how to hang, use and care for their nets. At the end of the project, nearly 100,000 nets hung in 600 communities.
Fresh off the success of the government’s distribution to all children under five the previous year, the Velingara and Saraya distributions infused new energy into Senegal’s fight against malaria. Velingara demonstrated what is possible. The Senegalese government, which was heavily involved in the Velingara project, saw no reason why this small victory could not be repeated across Senegal. Shortly thereafter, they announced a new policy for defeating malaria within its borders: universal coverage across the nation.
Investing in the universal coverage goal in one region did more than simply cover that area—it catalyzed a series of events, decisions and actions that inspired Senegal to adopt an aggressive and ambitious strategy against the disease.