RAM-Global’s Kenya Expedition Highlights Urgent Need for Global Malaria Efforts and Innovations in Prevention

By: Bryna Perlman, Daniel Perlman, Claudia Frost   

Our RAM-Global, Rotary Action Group expedition to Kenya (02/24) was a significant eye opener for the 18 U.S. Rotarian participants. Seeing first hand the devastation caused by malaria – illness, death, negative economic impact, and the huge need for worldwide assistance was very humbling. Witnessing the need for critical training and support of Community Health Promoters, reinforced our passion and dedication to continue engagement with this work. Educating and engaging others globally, through financial contributions or participation is imperative to the reduction of the global malaria burden.

Following our tour, we attended the Alliance for Malaria Prevention (AMP) conference in Nairobi. We were presented with both scientific and personal accounts of the progress and lack thereof with regards to insecticide-treated mosquito nets, distribution, quality and shelf life. Net disposal was also discussed. With nets being the primary foundation of malaria reduction, improved net technology, governmental assistance, boots on the ground, digitalization, and constant follow up are critical for success.

In April, on World Malaria Day, our trio attended the Johns Hopkins World Malaria conference in Baltimore. Numerous speakers and poster presentations shared promising and upcoming breakthroughs including vector control, new malaria vaccines in the pipeline, and other critical scientific efforts. However, we felt a disconnect between the academic research and exploration versus the harsh realities facing communities, and the lack of resources required in these communities severely impacted by malaria.

By personally participating in the many opportunities that are available to everyone engaged in our efforts, by becoming better educated, observing situations first hand, and bringing back the messages to others, we can all strive to make a real difference in our determination to reduce malaria.

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