By Derrick Sinjela, Ashton Kelly Bunda and Esther Munika Mwanashiku
CHILDREN are at the heart of everything we do, and our focus is on helping the most vulnerable children overcome poverty and experience the fullness of life, says World Vision, Zambia National Director John Hasse.
Rotary International District 9210 President Lucie Kasanga indicated a resolve toward contributing in a joint effort eradicating malaria in the same manner polio has been eliminated in Zambia and globally.
Witnessing a Wednesday 31st March 2021 Malaria-Free Zambia project launch at Lusaka’s Protea Towers Hotel launch, in Lusaka on, Mr. Hasse restated a well-known fact that malaria is a leading cause of illness and death in Zambia, disproportionately affecting children under the age of five and pregnant women in rural populations that lack consistent access to malaria prevention and treatment options.
Former Health Minister Dr. Jonas Kamima Chanda was represented by National Malaria Elimination Center (NMEC) Director, Dr Mutinta Mudenda, Rotary International District 9210, President Lucie Kasanga, Malaria Partners Zambia, Ms. Martha Lungu, District Governor elect – Victor Mensah, Provincial Health Directors for Muchinga and Central provinces, National Malaria Elimination Centre, Bill and Melinda Gates, representatives from World Vision (USA joining us virtually, Rotary Club of Federal Way and Representatives from the ten participating clubs joined partners virtually.
Partners for a Malaria-Free Zambia program was initiated by the Rotary Club of Federal Way in Washington State, United States, now co-implemented by World Vision Zambia, local rotary clubs, the Zambian National Malaria Elimination Centre, Path Macepa, Central and Muchinga Provincial Health leadership.
Dr. Chanda is worried that malaria is the most common cause of deaths among the under five children, accounting for 8 million confirmed and clinical cases and about 50,000 deaths per year in Zambia, according to World Health Organisation (WHO) statistical data.
“World Vision and Rotarians bring effective malaria diagnosis and treatment to 1.3 million people 6 districts of Central province (Chibombo, Kabwe, Mkushi, Luano, Serenje and Chitambo) and 4 districts of Muchinga province ( Mpika, Kanchibiya, Shiwang’andu and Lavushimanda) will contribute to reduction of malaria burden deaths,” said Dr. Chanda, a Patriotic Front (PF) Member of Parliament (MP) for Bwana Mukumbwa Constituency in Ndola, Copperbelt Province.
And Rotary International President for District 9210 Lucie Kasanga said Zambia will share lessons with the global community on tackling malaria, while, Diana Measham virtually committed Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to fighting malaria in Zambia.