Isdell:Flowers Cross Border Malaria Initiative
The Isdell:Flowers Cross Border Malaria Elimination Initiative is dedicated to the elimination of malaria by shrinking the malaria map. The Initiative's work is in the last mile, cross border areas of Namibia, Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe. These highly mobile populations are hard to reach yet are often responsible for significant malaria transmission into neighboring countries.
- The Southern Province of Zambia is on track to eliminate malaria by 2015
- In the Cunene region of Angola, in 2011, a 35% reduction in morbidity and 20% reduction of mortality were reported
- Across the border in Namibia, in Ohangwena, in 2011-2012 morbidity declined 47%
The Last Mile - Cross Border Communities in sub-Saharan Africa
The Isdell:Flowers Cross Border Malaria Initiative currently supports programs in the cross border communities of Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia. These communities are remote, hard to reach except by off road vehicle, have little access to health services, and share language and culture with their cross border neighbors. Individuals regularly cross back and forth over the border to see family or attend cultural or religious events, often bringing the malaria parasite with them. Working with communities and national ministries on both sides of the border with parallel programs is essential to the malaria elimination goal.
The Initiative targets cross border communities with comprehensive malaria interventions. Activities are implemented with our partners and include:
- Net Distribution to communities not yet accessing nets
- Recruitment and training of village health workers/malaria agents, village head men, clergy, and church leaders in partnership with the government
- Behavior Change Communication activities at the village level
- Community Malaria Surveillance and Rapid Diagnostic Testing
- Harmonization of malaria protocols, policies and surveillance systems across borders and ensuring free transport of malaria supplies and program personnel across borders
- Monitoring and Evaluation and Data Analysis
The Role of the Church - Center of the Community
The Church and spirituality play a central role in the day-to-day lives of communities where we work. Every member of the community is a member of a congregation and the clergy occupy a position of trust and respect with moral authority to direct and educate their congregations on health needs as well as spiritual needs. Mobilizing and building the capacity of the clergy and leaders of the church is fundamental to communication and advocacy. Clergy go through a malaria training and integrate the information into sermons and community events.