New Vision (Kampala)

Uganda: U.S. Rotarians Join Malaria Fight in Uganda

A team of Rotarians from several US-based Rotary Clubs is in Uganda to explore ways through which the country can scale up its fight against Malaria.

The team which includes medical experts and volunteers from the world's largest Rotary Club, the Rotary Club of Seattle, will join Government and civil society to wipe out Malaria in Uganda.

Linda Cheever, a member of the visiting Rotary District 5030 in the US, said Uganda will be the second African country where Rotary-funded initiative reduces-Malaria Partnership in Africa.

Under the initiative, US Rotary Clubs raise funds from their members for Malaria projects which are implemented through local Rotary Clubs and other partners.

"Rotarians have such deep roots in communities and we would like to use that network to scale up the fight against Malaria in Uganda," Cheever said.

Under the Rotarian-Malaria Partnership, Rotary Clubs will start a nationwide campaign with Pilgrim Africa, an organization that is running a 'Malaria-Free Uganda Campaign'.

The Rotarians will provide free Malaria education, testing and treatment, indoor residual spraying and distribution of insecticide treated mosquito nets.

In Zambia, a similar initiative has generated over $1m (sh2.5b) in funding from US Rotary Clubs alone and helped to save 230,000 people, Cheever explained.

Speaking at a conference on Malaria elimination held at Hotel Africana on Monday, Cheever said Uganda would benefit from support of over 650 Rotary Clubs under District 5030, as well as from other US Rotary Clubs.

Anthony Esenu, the Pilgrim Africa Board Vice President, observed that the fight against Malaria requires a new approach and the experience of Rotary Clubs which have a wide network.

There are at least 75 Rotary Clubs, in addition to 55 Rotaract Clubs and 100 Interact Clubs spread across the country.

In Uganda, Malaria is responsible for over 110,000 deaths every year and remains the largest killer of children under the age of five.

Malaria is endemic in 95% of Uganda's population and accounts for up to 40% of out-patient health visits to hospitals.

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