The Rotary Club of Federal Way is part of an effort to help end a leading cause of illness and death in the southern African country of Zambia.
To help end malaria in Zambia, The Rotary Foundation, World Vision USA and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will each contribute $2 million the launch of Partners for a Malaria-Free Zambia, Rotary’s first Program of Scale.
Led by the Rotary Club of Federal Way, this $6 million program will add 2,500 community health workers to the national health system in Zambia, allowing for effective malaria diagnosis and treatment for more than 1.3 million people in 10 of the most highly affected districts in Central and Muchinga provinces.
Launched on March 9, this initiative brings together Rotary clubs across the United States and Zambia to provide community-based education, testing and treatment.
Malaria, a preventable disease caused by a parasite spread through the bites of infected mosquitoes, disproportionately affects children under age five and pregnant women in rural populations.
“By empowering community health workers, more people in areas with little to no access to health care will now be reached by trusted members of their communities,” said Bill Feldt, member of the Rotary Club of Federal Way, who spearheaded the program. “This proven health care delivery model is effective and financially sustainable, and will bring lasting protection by reducing and eliminating this disease at the local level.”
Partners for a Malaria-Free Zambia takes Rotary members’ commitment to eliminate malaria to the next level by building a longer-term, multi-stakeholder partnership on the ground in Zambia with the National Malaria Elimination Centre, provincial health leadership, PATH MACEPA and World Vision Zambia.
“Every day I witness firsthand the effects of malaria. 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,” said Martha Lungu, executive director for Malaria Partners Zambia, an affiliate of Malaria Partners International, and member of the Rotary Club of Ndola (Zambia).
Partners for a Malaria-Free Zambia is the first awardee for Rotary’s Programs of Scale grant. In an annual competitive grant process, The Rotary Foundation, Rotary’s philanthropic arm, will award $2 million to an evidence-based program that aligns with one of Rotary’s causes and has the capability for scaling-up to help more people.
“Rotary members bring unparalleled energy and dedication to global health challenges. Their efforts have brought polio eradication within reach, and I am confident they will do the same in the fight against malaria,” said Philip Welkhoff, director of the Malaria Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
“This project complements and builds upon the leadership of the Government of Zambia in working to eliminate malaria from the country,” Welkhoff said. “We are thrilled to expand on our longstanding partnerships with Rotary and World Vision to advance progress in hard-to-reach communities and to realize the goal of ending malaria for good.”
The programs are sponsored by Rotary members in collaboration with local communities and partner organizations.
“When we bring impact-focused organizations together, we can do more to help the world’s most vulnerable reach their potential,” said Edgar Sandoval Sr., president and CEO of World Vision U.S.