I’ve moved to Dakar to work with a new initiative, Stomping Out Malaria in Africa. For the time being I’ll be shadowing two volunteers, the Communications Manager, and the Presidents Malaria Initiative Liaison. When I’m up to speed my full time position will very likely be taking over one of the two positions (or some sort of combination of responsibilities). I’m attending a 10 day training with volunteers from 11 other Peace Corps countries in Africa right now. Take a look at the link above to see day by day photos of the training. Below, you’ll find some more information about the project and what I’ve got myself into. First, though, have a look at this video for a refresher on why this is so important:
While malaria remains a deadly threat to young children and pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a recent WHO analysis, malaria prevention efforts have saved the lives of 750,000 children over the past decade. With the continued expansion of these endeavors, three million more lives can be saved by 2015.
The Case for a Unified Approach
Because Peace Corps posts have traditionally worked autonomously, diverse malaria prevention projects have taken place without communication between posts. Increased information sharing, coordination, and collaboration are crucial to prevent the duplication of efforts, develop best practices, and continue the advancement of malaria prevention techniques in order to achieve the goals of the Stomping Out Malaria in Africa initiative.
- Universal bed net coverage as well as malaria prevention and treatment education programs in every malaria-impacted Peace Corps community in the 25-targeted African countries by 2013.
- The Millennium Development Goal of at least a 50% reduction in deaths caused by malaria worldwide by 2015 and the substantial reduction of deaths caused by malaria in all target countries by 2020.
The Stomping Out Malaria in Africa initiative will help 3,000 volunteers in 25 Peace Corps programs across sub-Saharan Africa to exchange knowledge, new ideas, and skills. The initiative will use social media outlets such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr and information sharing databases such as iTunes, Google Docs, and K4Health to create a community of information exchange between PCVs in the field, the Malaria Team, PC staff, and other partners. The initiative aspires for this community of malaria prevention professionals to continue to thrive and work together beyond its 2020 goals.
The Stomping Out Malaria in Africa initiative will build and maintain strong partnerships with other malaria prevention organizations by serving as a resource for PCVs and facilitating their relationships with partner agents in their communities and regions.