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Malaria Partners International is delighted to share the news that the Katakwi Rotary Malaria Control Project (KMalaria Partners International) Phase Two Global Grant proposal (GG #1863915) has received approval from the Rotary Foundation, and project execution will start immediately. This Phase Two project builds on the highly successful results of “Phase One” Katakwi Malaria Care and Health System Strengthening (GG #1423515) which was coordinated by local host club Soroti Central Rotary Club with support of international lead club, Seattle #4 and local NGO, Pilgrim Africa. These three partners have joined together again to implement Phase Two, along with the support of 26 other Rotary clubs in the U.S. and Africa, and with strong financial support from Malaria Partners International.

This phase of the project is designed to maintain the dramatic reduction in malaria morbidity and mortality achieved in Phase One and drive those measures toward zero in an economical, cost effective manner. The primary objective of this project in both Phase I and Phase II is to demonstrate that malaria can be eliminated even in high prevalence areas.  Phase One was designed to reduce prevalence of malaria infection by 50% to 80%, depending on the sub- county and interventions used, through a combination of intensive and comprehensive control measures.  In the sub-county where an innovative combination of indoor residual spraying and universal preventative treatment was used, malaria prevalence has fallen by 83% and now, less than 6% of people are carrying the malaria parasite. The goal of Phase Two will be to drive prevalence lower and to build a highly responsive comprehensive community-based front line health care network especially focused on relieving mortality and morbidity in children under five.

Katakwi Phase Two will directly benefit 50,000 people – around 8,000 rural subsistence farm families–living in Katakwi District in NE Uganda.  The breakdown includes approximately 26,000 children, 11,000 men and 13,000 women.  We chose this area, 25-50km from Soroti, because according to District health authorities, Kapujan and Toroma sub-counties were the communities with the highest prevalence of malaria in Katakwi District.

Dr. Okalany distributing bednets at primary school

The project will utilize trained community village health workers (VHTs) – an approach that could prove to be affordable over the long run for the Ugandan National Malaria Control Program as well as for the programs of other countries. In Phase Two, 210 community-based Village Health Team workers (VHT’s) will move from household to household on a weekly basis, rapidly detecting and preventing any new malaria infections as they arise and also addressing childhood pneumonia and diarrhea.  Other VHTs will address childhood malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea, based out of their own homes, free of charge, whenever a community member requests care.

The infrastructure this project will create – community-based health workers distributed throughout the project area and communicating individualized malaria incidence information on a weekly basis to their health centers – will also provide the community, and the national malaria control program, very precise and detailed information about where, when and in whom infections are arising. The Uganda National Malaria Control Program (NMCP), a partner in this project, is focused on generating good quality surveillance data to guide its investments and interventions, and is very interested in what can be learned from the spatial, temporal and individual malaria infection patterns the project will uncover.

Sixteen U.S. Rotary Clubs, four U.S. Rotary Districts, a large number of Ugandan Rotary clubs, and Malaria Partners International (an independent 501 (c) (3)), have joined this Global Grant application, dedicated to the vision that malaria can be eliminated in even the most endemic areas of the world.  Phase Two activities will be conducted together with Pilgrim Africa, Rotary’s Uganda based NGO Cooperating Partner for both Phase One and Two, under the oversight, monitoring and evaluation of Soroti Central Rotary Club, local host club, and Seattle #4, international lead club. The proposal has strong support from the Ugandan Ministry of Health, the National Malaria Control Program, Katakwi District Local Government (KDLG) and community leaders (LC1s).  These project partners will play a key role in implementation, in training, and in data gathering and evaluation alongside Soroti Central Rotary Club and Pilgrim Africa.