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Bill Feldt and Steve Bell, President of the RC of Federal Way at the Rotary International Programs of Scale signing ceremony.

Local Rotarians Eliminating Malaria in Zambia

March 9, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Today, Rotary International, World Vision, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced the launch of Rotary’s first Program of Scale, Partners for a Malaria-Free Zambia, a $6 million investment to train, equip and deploy Community Health Workers in Zambia. This program will scale up Rotary’s successful work in the Copperbelt Province to reduce malaria by 90% in two additional Zambian provinces.

Led by the Rotary Club of Federal Way (WA), the program will benefit over 1.3 million Zambians and bring together Rotary clubs across the U.S. and Zambia to provide community-based education, testing, and treatment for malaria.

“By empowering CHW volunteers, the project connects people in areas with little to no access to health care with trusted members of their community who can test for and treat malaria,” says Bill Feldt, a member of the Federal Way Rotary Club. Fighting malaria has long been a priority for the Federal Way club. For more than 10 years, members have been working with international partners, including Zambian Rotary clubs, Malaria Partners Zambia, Malaria Partners International, PATH MACEPA, Zambia’s National Malaria Elimination CentreWorld Vision, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Malaria is a formidable foe. It is responsible for 50% of all infant deaths and 20% of all maternal deaths in Zambia. Partners for a Malaria-Free Zambia will strengthen the national health system by working closely with local health officials and health facility staff. Most significantly, it will train and equip 2,500 Community Health Workers (CHWs) to test, diagnose, and treat malaria in their communities.

CHW candidates will receive six days of intensive classroom training followed by an additional day in the field. The CHWs will then be assigned to the health clinic closest to their homes for six weeks of mentorship. CHWs will be well equipped with rapid diagnostic tests, anti-malaria medicine, and lancets for finger pricks. They will also receive bicycles and mobile phones, allowing them to reach remote communities, quickly report cases, and share case management data within the national health system.

This program empowers 1.3 Million Zambians by providing them with the education and tools necessary to reclaim their lives from the constant threat of malaria. But its potential effects extend far beyond Zambia. The Gates Foundation, Rotary International, and World Vision view this partnership as a possible blueprint to address malaria throughout Africa.

Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves. Rotarians believe good health care is everyone’s right. Yet 400 million people in the world cannot afford or do not have access to basic health care.

Malaria Partners International is a 501(c)(3) organization whose vision is that malaria is eliminated worldwide. Its mission is to ignite an international Rotarian movement for the global eradication of malaria. Inspired by Rotary’s monumental work in eradicating polio, Seattle Rotarians founded Malaria Partners International to use the strategies developed in the polio effort to wipe out malaria worldwide.

World Vision is an international partnership of Christians whose mission is to work with the poor and oppressed to promote human transformation and justice. World Vision is committed to fighting malaria until it is defeated. Prevention and treatment for malaria is woven into its core global health strategy.

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty.

For more information, contact:

Jenny.andrews@malariapartnersinternational.org

Executive Director

Malaria Partners International

Read the full press release PMFZ Launch Press Release.

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