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Ivanhoe expands malaria campaign in DRC

The project uses Deki Readers – mobile smart devices – to help health workers more accurately conduct and analyse tests to diagnose malaria, while providing quality, ‘actionable’ data to the DRC’s national Ministry of Health through an online healthcare management portal.

The expansion will deliver a 370% increase (from 54 to 254) in the number of health facilities using Deki Readers by the end of this year. The programme is being rolled out in the Haut-Katanga and Lualaba provinces – two malaria-burdened regions that are also home to Ivanhoe’s Kipushi copper project and the Ivanhoe-Zijn joint venture Kamoa-Kakula project.

Since its inception in 2015, the Know for Sure campaign has strengthened the DRC government’s capacity to rapidly and reliably confirm whether patients seeking treatment have malaria and it has gathered new information for the Health Ministry.

Of the 16 962 patients tested for malaria up until 21 November this year, 49% reported negative, thus negating unnecessary treatment. Results have also shown that 60% of children under five years with fever did have malaria – a critical finding that the initiative shared with the government through the online healthcare management portal.

The campaign also gives the DRC Health Ministry staff the ability to remotely monitor whether healthcare workers in the field are following testing and treatment protocols.

The Know for Sure campaign builds the government’s detection and treatment capacities, but also gives Ivanhoe Mines a better understanding of how malaria impacts on its employees, their families and other residents in communities near Ivanhoe’s two major DRC projects, located in the Kipushi Health Zone and the Kanzenze Health Zone in Lualaba Province.