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$6 million initiative launched to fight malaria in Zambia

Rotary International, World Vision, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have announced commitments totaling $6 million in support of efforts to reduce malaria deaths in Zambia.

The three organizations have committed $2 million each to launch the Partners for a Malaria-Free Zambia program to train, equip, and deploy twenty-five hundred additional community health workers who will test, diagnose, and treat patients with malaria in ten of the most highly affected districts in Central and Muchinga provinces. Building on Rotary’s successful efforts in Copperbelt Province to reduce the number of malaria cases by 90 percent, the partnership with Zambia’s National Malaria Elimination Centre, provincial health leadership, PATH MACEPA, and World Vision Zambia will provide effective diagnosis and treatment for more than 1.3 million people.

“By empowering [community health worker] 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,” said Bill Feldt, a member of the Federal Way Rotary Club, which has partnered with Zambian Rotary clubs, Malaria Partners Zambia, Malaria Partners International, World Vision, and the Gates Foundation for more than a decade to help eliminate malaria.

According to Malaria Partners International, which was founded by Seattle Rotarians, malaria is responsible for half of all infant deaths and 20 percent of all maternal deaths in Zambia.

“Every day, I witness firsthand the effects of malaria,” said Martha Lungu, executive director of Malaria Partners Zambia, an affiliate of Malaria Partners International, and a member of the Rotary Club of Ndola in Zambia. “This program demonstrates that Rotary members are true partners in our communities and are focused on supporting community health workers to help loosen the grip malaria has on the Zambian people.”

For the original press release, please click here.