By Linda Cheever, Malaria Partners International Ambassador

Uganda Katakwi Rotary Malaria Project (KMalaria Partners International), funded by Rotary International, implementing partner Pilgrim Africa, and other NGO partners, is focused on the training and deployment of a large cadre of VHTs to monitor and treat cases of malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea in their assigned communities. As the COVID 19 pandemic swept through much of the world,  Uganda’s Ministry of Health moved early to prepare the country and protect its most vulnerable citizens. Guidelines recommended all VHTs countrywide immediately begin wearing masks and take all precautions to protect themselves and the beneficiaries in the communities they serve.

Provision of masks and other protective gear to VHTs is essential to maintaining the ability to stay focused on KMalaria Partners International’s  life saving mission to monitor, test and treat for the devastating diseases that are endemic in this highly malarial region. Pilgrim Africa was able to source a one month supply of masks within Uganda for immediate distribution to KMalaria Partners International project VHTs and local health workers, along with soap and other commodities essential for personal and community safety.  As COVID 19 cases rose rapidly around the world, it became increasingly difficult to source masks and other protective gear.  Pilgrim Africa, with support from Malaria Partners International, was able to source an additional two month supply of masks from a China supplier.

Uganda, with experience from previous pandemics such as Ebola, has done an exemplary job of acting quickly to put in place provisions to protect its citizens. Cases of community transmission are fairly low to date, but will depend on ongoing rapid distribution of protective clothing and equipment and strengthened critical care facilities and training of front line workers. Malaria Partners International, Pilgrim Africa, Rotary and other partners in the KMalaria Partners International project will continue to do whatever we can to support the Ministry of Health and our beneficiary communities in this challenging time.


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