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Rotarian Malaria Partners Zambia (RMPZ) and Malaria Partners International (Malaria Partners International) are moving ahead with the Copperbelt Province Malaria Elimination Project. Our goal is to train and equip 3,000 Community Health Workers (CHWs) to prevent, detect and treat malaria. Phase I of the project, a Rotary Global Grant, will train 301 CHWs in the Copperbelt Districts of Masaiti and Mpongwe. Jim Moore, Malaria Partners International Ambassador, announced that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded Malaria Partners International a two year grant, in part to support the Copperbelt Project.

Last month our RMPZ team members Martha Lungu, Executive Administrator and Dr. Mwangala Muyendekwa,co-chair of RMPZ, had a lengthy telephone conversation with Jim Moore and Bill Feldt of Malaria Partners International to discuss the information needed for the Global Grant. Recently Martha and Ndola Mukuba Club President Humphrey Chipandwe and Past President and current projects chair Anthony Katango met with District Health Officers from Masaiti and Mpongwe. 81 Community Health Workers (CHWs) in Masaiti have already taken the seven day malaria training course as have 119 CHWs from Mpongwe. At a ratio of 1 CHW per 500 residents, there is an additional training need for 150 CHWs in Masaiti and 151 in Mpongwe. National trainers have led the workshops thus far. Martha has received cost data from the Provincial Health Office for the training of the CHWs which will be reviewed. Having all the tools for fighting malaria is crucial including comprehensive bed net distribution, Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS), Mass Drug Administration (MDA), where appropriate, and well equipped and properly trained CHWs.

In the U.S. 13 District 5030 clubs have firmly committed to the Global Grant with two more clubs highly likely. In addition, District 6490 (Illinois) has committed funds. We hope to have a number of the eight Copperbelt clubs contribute funds to the Global Grant.The Rotary Club of Ndola Mukuba, the grant’s host club, and the Rotary Club of Federal Way, the international partner will enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with Zambia’s National Malaria Elimination Centre.

The Rotary Club of Aspen Colorado is interested in undertaking a Global Grant for another district in the Copperbelt. RMPZ will need to consult with the Provincial Health Office to identify the appropriate district. Aspen plans to submit the Global Grant in July 2019, the start of the 2019-2020 Rotary Year. Mwangala and Martha will both travel to Hamburg, Germany in early June 2019 to attend the Rotary International Convention and represent RMPZ.

Anyone interested in directly supporting our Copperbelt Province (Zambia) malaria elimination project is invited to contact Bill Feldt (billfeldt@comcast.net) for more information.  This project aims to eliminate malaria in the Copperbelt by the end of 2021.