Malaria is one of the world's most deadly diseases, killing hundreds of thousands every year – and most of those are children under five.
Adriana Lanting, the current chair of Malaria Partners International and a member of Long Beach Rotary, chaired the 2019 Rotary Large Club Conference in Long Beach. There she met Steve Crane, a member of Seattle 4 Rotary and a long-time Rotary champion of international service - especially polio immunization and malaria prevention projects. Steve challenged Adriana to join Rotarian Malaria Partners (RMP), an organization started by Rotarians in the Seattle area.
She became the organizations's chair two years later and set about establishing partnerships to help the fight. With the help of Steve Crane, she first reached out to The Gates Foundation. Next she contacted a representative from World Vision, who she had met at a Rotary Zone Institute. Both Gates and World Vision were excited to work with Rotary on this cause. Reflecting that collaboration, RMP re-branded to become Malaria Partners International (MPI).
The next challenge was to use their combined expertise to win the first ever Rotary Programs of Scale grant. That $2 million grant from The Rotary Foundation was matched equally both by Gates and World Vision to fund malaria projects in Africa using MPI's Malaria Small Grants to Rotary clubs and Districts affected by the disease.
Through those "boots on the ground" projects, Malaria Partners International has now trained more than 3,000 Community Health Workers, each of whom cares for 500 members of their communities. This work is providing malaria prevention, testing, and treatment to nearly 1.5 million people!
Last month marked the official launch of the Busime Malaria Small Grant Project. This project was undertaken by the Rotary Club of Busia with the support of Malaria Partners International and other partners including the Busia local government.
The first phase of this project is community mobilization and sensitization. Local health center staff and the project team will share key messages on malaria transmission, prevention, and control measures. Malaria testing and treatment will follow. Positive cases will be referred to Busime Health Center for further evaluations and management.
World's first Malaria Vaccine
More than a million children in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi have now received at least one dose of the first anti-malaria vaccine, according to the World Health Organization.
Malaria at the Rotary Convention
Malaria Partners International will be featured at the Rotary Convention in Houston and the following year in Melbourne, Australia.