Global Fund awards Chad $33.3 million grant for universal mosquito net coverage

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced a $33.3 million grant on Friday that will help to give a mosquito net to almost every family in Chad by July 2014.

Malaria is the main cause of child mortality in Chad, a country where 169 out of every 1,000 children die before reaching their fifth birthday.

"Chad stands on the threshold of a major breakthrough in its fight against a disease which has taken a disproportionate toll on children," Lelio Marmora, the Global Fund's department head for Africa and the Middle East, said.

The new grant will finance the procurement and distribution of more than five million long-lasting, insecticide-treated nets in Chad's 13 highest populated regions. The nets will replace older nets that were distributed in nine regions in April 2011. The net distribution campaign will target four added regions that were never before supplied with the mosquito nets.

The goal of the grant and other funding for the nets is to achieve universal coverage, 80 percent of the population living in households with nets, by July 2014. Chad intends to achieve a 75 percent drop in malaria deaths among children under five by 2015.

The principal recipient of the grant is the Fonds de Soutien aux Activités en matière de Population. Secondary recipients include the National Malaria Control Program and UNICEF.