The Legacy of Long-Term Assistance in Controlling Malaria in West Africa

October 16, 2017

The Legacy of Long-Term Assistance in Controlling Malaria in West Africa

In the global fight against malaria, National Malaria Control Programs (NMCPs) play a central role in leading national-level malaria control efforts. For NMCPs to fulfill this role, both the individual NMCP staff members and NMCPs as organizations must have the knowledge, skills, behaviors, and attitudes to successfully lead, coordinate, and manage malaria control efforts at all levels of the health system.

The USAID-funded Leadership, Management and Governance National Malaria Control Program Capacity Building Project (LMG/ NMCP), launched in 2013, was designed to support NMCPs in becoming fully capable of both directing and implementing national malaria control strategies, and of effectively managing Global Fund malaria grants. The project long-term technical advisors (LTAs) in NMCPs Burundi, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Lao PDR, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

From conception, successes, lessons learned, and recommendations based on four years of implementation of this exciting project, the teams involved can confidently claim they played a key role in helping the NMCPs better manage resources, lead and govern national malaria control strategies, and effectively mobilize existing and new stakeholders. LTAs provided effective mentoring, advising, coaching, and targeted technical support aimed to build individual and organizational capacity of the NMCPs to carry out their roles as leaders in the fight against malaria.

As LMG/NMCP has come to a close at MSH, the legacy lives on: team members documented their accomplishments and impact in a body of work that presents their unique perspectives, illustrating personal, specific examples of how the project’s goals were achieved. Over the span of the project, LTA support contributed to improved staff motivation and organization and overall NMCP functioning. This work–coupled with STA-supported improvements to organizational systems, tools, and procedures–is not only leaving NMCPs more capable of fulfilling their missions, but also was accomplished in a way that allowed NMCP teams to say, “We did it ourselves.”

Watch the project’s final video: