International SOS provided public health expertise at a large copper-cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo to address a number of health issues, including malaria, among employees and the wider community.
The owners of a copper-cobalt mine in the DRC engaged International SOS to co-develop a Public Health and Integrated Malaria Control Programme (IMCP) after baseline research showed high malaria prevalence among employees and their families.
The programme was designed to control malaria in several ways: prompt diagnosis and treatment; indoor residual spraying (IRS) of insecticide; bed net distribution, environment management and larvae control; and awareness and health promotion. Because the programme provided these services not just to employees but also the communities in which they lived, the IMCP covered an estimated population of 137,000.
Following the introduction of the programme in late 2007, malaria incidence among employees decreased initially by 66%. Child malaria prevalence within the broader community was reduced by 47%. Methodical monitoring and evaluation of the programme’s efforts allowed the mine operator to respond efficiently to gaps and challenges and scale up efforts in response to population changes and increased development.
As well as malaria, the programme targeted additional national disease burdens such as HIV/AIDS, STIs, tuberculosis, cholera and childhood vaccine-preventable diseases.