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By Dr. Robert Porter, Malaria Partners International Board Member

The Aspen Rotary Club has teamed up with Malaria Partners International (Malaria Partners International) and the Rotary Club of Kitwe in Zambia to help end malaria in the Copperbelt Province of Zambia. Each year malaria causes over 400,000 deaths, risks millions of pregnancies and kills a child every two minutes.

Through partnership with Malaria Partners International, RC Aspen and RC Kitwe applied for a malaria elimination global grant focusing on Chililabombwe, in the Copperbelt where malaria prevalence is high and deaths frequently occur. Aspen RC, acting as the International Sponsor, and RC Kitwe acting as the in-country Host club are part of Malaria Partners International’s largest malaria elimination initiative to date – eliminating malaria among the 2.5 million people in the Copperbelt by 2021.

The malaria elimination Global Grant project (GG2093386) will train and equip 200 Community Health Workers (CHWs) in the Chililabombwe District which has a population of 130,000 people. The project is fully funded at $203,450 through the combined support of Rotary Clubs, Districts, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rotary Foundation. CHW training will begin August 10, 2020.

In order to help change the distressing malaria statistics, RC Aspen recruited partners to assist in eliminating malaria with the Rotary Global Grant project which will:

  • Train 200 Community Health Workers
  • Provide rapid diagnostic screening for malaria
  • Treat infected individuals with anti-malaria medications (as well as treating young children with upper respiratory and severe diarrhea issues)
  • Data track all testing and treatment results

Rotary Clubs in District 9210, 5470, 5450 and 6560 responded to Aspen’s request for support. The Rotary Clubs of Kitwe, Denver, Indianapolis, Parker, and Carbondale all joined RC Aspen to partner in funding this GG project. The Clubs’ goal is to change lives by ending the cycle of poverty caused by the chronic illness of malaria and to save lives of children and pregnant women who have highest death rates from malaria.

And because they feel so strongly about malaria elimination and the quality of this project, GG2093386 has received financial support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation by matching Club and District funding. The team approach illustrated on this project, and like all Malaria Partners International programs, is essential since the elimination of malaria will require unified and comprehensive efforts. As Rotary International wisely observes, “Our clubs have a shared responsibility to take action on the world’s most persistent issues.”