Submitted by Sarah Weaver, Malaria Partners International Board Treasurer
A full moon and a welcome breeze greeted the Malaria Partners International travelers on our first evening in Lusaka, the vibrant capital of Zambia. Malaria Partners International US was delighted to host dinner and drinks under the stars at the top of our hotel for our Zambian friends. We were joined by many current Rotary Club presidents as well as District Governors, past, present, and future. The Club presidents were easy to spot with their distinctive ribbons bearing pins engraved with the names of their predecessors. The evening was a great opportunity to spread the word in Lusaka about our work with the three Rotary clubs in Ndola, some 200 miles to the north in the Copperbelt Province. We were superbly aided in that effort by Lucie Kasanga (DGE 9210), a founding board member of RMPZ. We also were honored to be joined by Dr. Mudenda, the head of all things malaria at the Ministry of Health, and our friends from PATH/MACEPA, Dr. Abdi Mohamed and Todd Jennings.
The highlight of the evening for many of us was the moving tribute to Steve Crane given by Malaria Partners International USA Board Chair, Jeff Pritchard. Steve passed away unexpectedly in late-June. For decades, Steve had been a tireless and selfless advocate for the elimination of polio and then later malaria. Steve was a founding member of Malaria Partners International back in 2009, believing that with polio’s eradication within reach, Rotary International is uniquely positioned to have a large impact in the global fight to end malaria – and over the last 10 years Steve worked towards that objective. He would have heartily approved of the toast to him under the stars.