Global Malaria News
Summary: It is possible that a number of tens of thousands of AMF nets have been stolen from the recent Guinea universal coverage net campaign. A quantity of nets have been recovered in Mali, across the border.
AMF recently provided 4.8 million nets for distribution in Guinea as part of a larger nationwide campaign. The vast majority of the nets were distributed as planned and are accounted for in our databases. However, we are currently investigating a possible theft of some nets. Our current estimate is that, if some nets have been stolen, the quantity is 2 per cent or less of the nets provided. However, we take any instance like this extremely seriously and are carrying out a thorough investigation. We also want to report on any such matter openly to our donors. We are working intensively to recover all nets possible and learn what process improvements can be made to reduce the probability of recurrence.
Detail: On Wednesday 11th September it was brought to AMF's attention that a quantity of nets with AMF labels and clear 'For Guinea' markings were in Bamako, the capital of Mali. Mali shares a border with Guinea.
The report indicated that tens of thousands of nets could be involved with a high probability that there were nets from all three funders of the recent nationwide Guinea campaign - AMF, The Global Fund and USAID. These three organisations informed the Minister of Health in Mali, who, late in the evening of Friday 13th September, with support from ministry department staff and the local police, visited a privately owned warehouse in Bamako. They reported that 800 nets were found with USAID-Guinea markings, as well as cut-off net labels and unused counterfeit packaging. After further investigation, on Wednesday 18th September, a second warehouse was visited and 98,500 nets (ninety eight thousand five hundred) were found in counterfeit packaging with the net brand labels removed. Both quantities of nets were placed under guard by the authorities. Initial indications are that there are four different types of nets involved, including PermaNet 2.0 nets, the brand funded for Guinea by AMF.
The authorities in Mali have so far responded quickly and decisively. In Guinea, the authorities have begun an investigation to establish where in the supply chain a potential theft of nets may have occurred.
We do not yet know the quantities of AMF-funded nets involved i.e. whether it is large or small.
Our immediate next steps, working closely with other net funding partners and the authorities in Mali and Guinea are to establish
1) the brands, quantities and provenance of the nets found;
2) if other quantities of nets may be found in other warehouses;
3) performing a full audit of net movements in Guinea
Identifying the brands and batch numbers of nets will help establish what quantity of nets has come from Guinea and, for any such nets, help establish from which region they came.
Given AMF collects detailed household-level distribution data, we have been able to establish an initial estimate of the ceiling quantity of nets involved of 80,000. AMF shipped 4.8m nets to Guinea and detailed household-level distribution records (which are currently being versified and cleaned as part of the normal process following a campaign, so the following numbers may change) records 4,551,694 nets were distributed. The difference is 248,306 nets. From this figure we subtract the current estimate of nets left over from the distribution and in the possession of the authorities in Guinea which is approximately 170,000. This leaves an initial ceiling estimate of 80,000 unaccounted nets. As verification is completed this number may stay the same or come down substantially.
Our longer term goals are of course to a) return the nets to their original destination such that they can protect the beneficiaries intended and b) understand what caused this and update our processes accordingly.
In the coming days we will provide updates and report fully on what is found.
A short update on activities going on in-country this month.
- In DRC, the registration of 500,000 households in Équateur province is complete and the paper records have been sent to Kinshasa where the household information has been entered into AMF's database by our partner AGAPE. The data was entered by 170 data entry clerks, organised in three shifts, over a three-week period. Photos below. Analysis of the registration data begins this week, with the distribution of 1.5 million nets due to take place in early October. Registration in Sud Ubangi province of 600,000 households will take place at the end of September using electronic devices, and in Haut Katanga of 1.4 million households at the beginning of October.
In Zambia, our partner CHAZ has just finished a round of post-distribution monitoring (PDM) activities in Central province and they are now entering into AMF's database the data collected from approximately 4,000 households. Data from the North-Western province PDM have been entered and show sleeping space coverage of 72%, 14 months post distribution. The next PDM in Western province takes place at the end of August.
In Ghana, our partner World Vision is collecting data for the second PDM in Upper East region. The results of the first PDM in Brong Ahafo region are currently being imported into AMF's database. 3.6 million nets were distributed in 2018.
In Malawi, our partner the Red Cross has started PDM activity in Southern region. Data is being collected using smartphones from 17,000 households. 4.3 million nets were distributed in 2018.
In Guinea, the last wave of the distribution, of 940,000 nets, took place in the prefectures of Siguiri and Kankan. Photos below. Our partner organisation, United Purpose, monitored the distribution at a number of distribution sites which were randomly selected by AMF. Monitoring data was collected on electronic devices providing AMF with real-time access to the information. This completes the distribution of 4.8 million AMF-funded nets. Distribution data for the final wave will be entered into AMF's database by our partner Cabinet Diagnostic in the coming two weeks.
In Uganda, the 24-month PDM is taking place in selected districts in the Western region. PDMs in Uganda are staggered across many different months, as the distribution took place in four waves and monitoring is happening at 6-monthly intervals in randomly selected districts, and at 9-monthly intervals in other randomly selected districts.
In PNG, the rolling distribution of nets continues (year round activity, province by province) and PDM data has been collected in the provinces of Chimbu, Western Highlands and Eastern Highlands. The data is currently being entered into AMF's database for review. In 2019, a total of 1.0 million nets will be distributed.
- In Togo, the 24-month PDM will take place in September. 2.4 million nets were distributed in 2018.