CIFA seeks to mobilize, equip and stimulate faith leader and faith community action to save children and pregnant women from malaria. As governments and their international partners invest billions of dollars in supply-side solutions to malaria, including distribution of long-lasting insecticide treated nets (LLINs) and the provision of anti-malarial drugs and clinical services, interfaith action can solve for the correlating demand-side challenges: behavior change and stimulation of demand for the products and services offered.In Nigeria, CIFA works closely with the Nigerian Interfaith Action Association (NIFAA) to mobilize faith leaders and faith communities against malaria by leveraging established Muslim and Christian networks at the national, state and local levels. Using a cascade training model, NIFAA equips faith leaders with knowledge and tools to engage their followers about malaria and change their behaviors.
Interfaith action works: World Bank data indicate that where the Nigerian Inter-Faith Action Association is active, LLIN utilization rates are more than two times higher than in demographically comparable areas without interfaith intervention. In Uganda, the proportion of women who received a first course of intermittent preventive care rose from 43% to 94% with religious leader involvement.
Faith leaders are well-equipped to:
• Increase the utilization of insecticidal nets;
• Encourage women to take preventive drugs during pregnancy;
• Increase knowledge of malaria symptoms;
• Increase the uptake of malaria treatment;