Malaria Prevention and Control
Tackling a Major Cause of Death
Malaria remains an important cause of illness and death among the millions of refugees and internally displaced people of concern to UNHCR around the world. A majority live in areas in which malaria is endemic or occurs in seasonal epidemics. Pregnant women, young children and the malnourished are at particular risk. Many factors are behind the spread of malaria among the forcibly displaced: refugee camps are often sited on land suitable for mosquitos to breed; people on the run may pass through, or seek shelter in, areas where the prevalence of malaria is higher than their place of origin; malaria control programmes may have broken down.
UNHCR promotes and supports the implementation of comprehensive malaria prevention and control programmes and it remains one of the agency's key public health priorities, as outlined in the
2008-2012 Malaria Strategic Plan.
High Commissioner António Guterres has allocated extra resources to battling the scourge, while in late 2008 UNHCR formed a partnership with the United Nations Foundation's "Nothing But Nets" campaign, to help eliminate malaria deaths in refugee camps. Tens of thousands of long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets have been distributed in camps under this scheme.