Armenia has shown a strong political commitment in fighting the resurgence of malaria in the country. Shortly after the beginning of epidemic, the Ministry of Health reported on malaria situation to the President of the Republic of Armenia, who took the malaria emergency under his personal co-ordination. A National Coordination Council (NCC) dealing with malaria was immediately established. NCC included the heads of many ministries (i.e. Ministry of Health, Agriculture, Internal Affairs, Defense etc.) as well as governors of malarious regions. The Ministry of Health has taken a lead in multiple consensus building inside the country. Eleven regional councils were formed based on broad consensus among local authorities and government departments.

Groups of experts from central level assisted in planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of malaria-related activities at the district level.
Engaging the country in the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) initiative was particularly crucial in containing the epidemic. RBM partnership involved various local and international organizations and agencies. It was a very tedious and a time-consuming process, particularly in the field of sharing roles and responsibilities in decision making.

Huge efforts have been also put by WHO in maintaining and promoting the country's level of RBM partnerships. Along with WHO, the UNICEF, WFP, IFRC, WB, EC, CDC, UNDP, the governments of NORWAY and ITALY, were major partners for RBM activities in Armenia. Up today, all of them have rendered a great assistance to the country in rolling back malaria.

WHO has been providing a technical expertise to support capacity building in Armenia. It included international training, upgrading peripheral health facilities for disease management, improving capacities for epidemic control, strengthening epidemiological surveillance and providing insecticides and equipment for indoor residual spraying. WHO also provided lab equipment and supplies for malaria diagnostics, as well as the antimalarial drugs for treatment and prophylaxis.

UNICEF has supplied insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets and antimalarials, distributed among local communities in malarious regions. UNICEF also supported community-based training activities. The governments of Italy and Norway donated lab equipment and supplies along with antimalarials. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) greatly assisted in establishing a new malaria surveillance system in 1994-1997. It also provided a significant amount of equipment (i.e. computers, microscopes etc.) to strengthen the local centers of disease control.

World Food Program (WFP) initiated so called "Food for Work" program, providing the spraying personnel and voluntary health workers with food products as a compensation for their work. International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) provided microscopes and antimalarials during 1999-2001. It also helped in raising public awareness on malaria.

RBM partnership among the Armenian authorities, World Bank and the European Community, has been established with the aim to reconstruct irrigation and drainage systems in Ararat Valley. Involving Ministries of Health and Agriculture/Irrigation into joint partnership led to extending the country's drainage system by more than 290 km in 2000.
Today, RBM partnerships with other Ministries (i.e. Ministry of Defense, Internal Affairs, Transportation, Tourism etc.) rapidly develop in different areas of malaria control, particularly in malaria prophylaxis.


© 2002. Malaria in Armenia.
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