The goal of SurfAid’s Malaria Program is to significantly reduce the prevalence and incidence of malaria through education and training. While the focus has been on the Mentawai Islands since 2001, SurfAid has also worked as far north as Aceh's Simeulue Island, and on the island of Nias.  We have distributed more than 60,000 insecticide-treated nets and provided malaria education to over 300 villages in some of the remotest areas of the world, stretching along hundreds of kilometres of rough seas off the west coast of Sumatra. Malaria Free Mentawai has been the main program, with the following goal, timeline and objectives. 

SurfAid work with village communities and existing health services to significantly and  sustainably reduce the burden of malaria.

Provide malaria education to 80 per cent of Mentawai community members

Provide insecticide-treated mosquito nets to 80% of Mentawai community members

Develop a surveillance and response system, in partnership with Mentawai Health Dep.

Support health posts in the training and use of rapid diagnostic testing (RDT) and artesenuate combined therapy (ACT) for detection and treatment of malaria

SurfAid has been working in close collaboration with Mentawai Health Department officials, local health care providers and local non-government organisations, to implement this exciting Mentawai-wide program to suppress malaria. SurfAid has applied experience gained in previously successful anti-malaria endeavours to expand activities throughout all of the accessible villages in the Mentawai. These efforts provide community members with simple, but effective, means of preventing malaria, and cutting-edge technology for detecting and treating malaria when necessary.

Prior to SurfAid, malaria control and treatment in the Mentawais was virtually nonexistent.  Although the islands have Health Department outposts, they were not readily accessible by many villages.  In addition, the health workers were not trained in the use of malaria detection tests and the outposts were frequently out of malaria treatments.

In 2001, SurfAid began piloting the Malaria Control Program (MCP) in Taileleu village in southern Siberut.  In 2002, SurfAid extended the program to the nearby village of Malilimok where 34% of children under 12 had malaria on the days of testing. In 2004 the program was expanded to more than 13,200 people in 17 villages. To achieve this, SurfAid recruited a team of 24 local field workers, called Community Facilitators, to take the SurfAid mission to the heart of every target village.

Early results show some success. Since the start of the pilot trials, SurfAid's Malaria Control Project has resulted in a reduction in malaria-related death and suffering in target areas. Further monitoring and evaluation is required in order to fully quantify the extent of the reduction.

In 2006, the Malaria Control Program evolved into the Malaria Free Mentawai Program, funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme, with the goal of expanding core malaria control activities to 206 villages in the Mentawai, to a total of 65,000 people.


SurfAid is a non-profit humanitarian organisation whose aim
is to improve the health, wellbeing and self-reliance of people
living in isolated regions connected to us through surfing.
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