The Angolan Ministry of Health, The Council of Christian Churches in Angola (CICA), the Diocese of Angola, and the J.C. Flowers Foundation are dedicated to eliminating malaria from the most remote, hard to reach communities along the Angola-Namibia border.
To date, these partners, who comprise the Trans Kunene Malaria Initiative (TKMI) have facilitated community action against malaria in 215 villages in the Southern Municipalities of Cunene and Cuando Cubango Provinces through the formation of Community Malaria Elimination Committees (“COCEMAS”).
Read more about their work here.
On April 25th, Isdell:Flowers teams from Angola, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe celebrated World Malaria Day by educating people about malaria, and mobilizing them to seek testing and treatment for the disease.
Since 2000, the world has made historic progress against malaria and millions of lives have been saved. However, progress in many sub Saharan countries has stalled, highlighting a need for increased investment in the fight against malaria.
In Angola, representatives from the government, the faith community, and other nonprofit partners joined together throughout Cunene and Cuando Cubango provinces in order to raise awareness of malaria. In Ondjiva, Cunene, Volunteers from the Trans Kunene Malaria Initiative performed skits to educate the community, and demonstrated how to hang up and properly used bed nets. King Mario Sachipamba was in attendance, and received a bed net and a malaria test.
Events were also held throughout the province of Cuando Cubango, with the largest taking place in Cuangar. Representatives from all political parties, non profit partners, and traditional and religious authorities joined together for malaria teaching. Net hanging demonstrations, and malaria testing and treatment was also offered.
In Calai, Cuando Cubango, malaria testing was carried out. Of the 140 people who received tests, 40 were positive for malaria and received treatment. Bed nets were also distributed by CICA/ J.C. Flowers.
In Namibia, similar activities were carried out by the TKMI team near the Angolan border, in Omundaungilo Constituency. Representatives from the Anglican Aids Programme, the Ministry of Health and Social Services, the Elimination 8 Initiative, the Red Cross, and more were in attendance. Volunteers and field workers performed malaria poems and songs, and malaria quiz competitions took place. Testing and treatment was provided.
In Zambia, malaria testing and treatment was carried out. In Livingstone, 2,321 people were tested. 30 people tested positive for malaria.
Monica Mvula, Isdell: Flowers Programme Coordinator, participated in the testing and treatment capaign in Sikongo District, Western Province. After discovering a positive case, she tested 25 people in the nearby households and 3 were positive.
Zambia's National Malaria Elimination Centre (NMEC) convened a World Malaria Day celebration in Kabwe Central Province. During the event, the Minister of Health Dr. Chitalu Chilufya launched the country's Malaria Inidicator Survey, in addition to new ITN and treatment guidelines.
NEW YORK, NY, April 16, 2018 – The J.C. Flowers Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Rebecca J. Vander Meulen as Executive Director. Vander Meulen will succeed Susan Lassen who will become Chairman. In addition, Vander Meulen will oversee the Anne and Chris Flowers Foundation.
Vander Meulen will manage the Isdell:Flowers Cross Border Malaria Initiative, which supports malaria elimination programs in Angola, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. She will also oversee the Harlem Circles of Support Initiative, which focuses on successful reentry of people coming home from prison to Harlem, New York.
Vander Meulen has served as the Isdell:Flowers Senior Director for Africa since 2017. For the past 15 years, she was the Community Development Director in the Anglican Diocese of Niassa (northern Mozambique) where she oversaw the formation of more than 400 social action groups comprising more than 10,000 community volunteers.
“Rebecca’s extensive experience in mobilizing and supporting ‘last mile’ communities will contribute to the mission of the J.C. Flowers Foundation as we address critical health and social problems affecting vulnerable populations,” said Chris Flowers, Founder of the J.C. Flowers Foundation.
In 2003, Vander Meulen earned a Master’s in Public Health in International Public Health from the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, which in 2009 awarded her with the Matthew Lee Girvin Young Alumni Award in recognition of her dedication to the field of public health and her significant contributions toward improving the lives and health of others. She is also a graduate of Calvin College and a recipient of the St. Mellitus Medal, Order of St Mellitus, conferred by the Bishop of London in recognition of her HIV and community development work in the Diocese of London’s partner Diocese of Niassa.
“I am delighted to join the J.C. Flowers Foundation as Executive Director,” said Vander Meulen. “I look forward to walking alongside those in Harlem and in Africa who are transforming their communities, and to facilitating dialogue between policy-makers and communities.”
Vander Meulen will begin her new role on July 1, 2018, and be located in New York.
J.C. Flowers Foundation Executive Director, Susan Lassen, recently spoke with Inside Philanthropy about the Foundation's founders, Chris and Anne Flowers. The article highlights the commitment of Chris and Anne to support "last mile" communities often overlooked by traditional donors.
"Anne and Chris are very unusual because they travel, and they visit, and they sit under the tree, and they listen to the story," Susan says. The foundation has over 1,000 volunteers who they've trained and who work on malaria in their communities. "It's an amazing network," she says.
Read the full article here.
Isdell:Flowers Cross Border Malaria Initiative Round Table Meeting to be Held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
The Isdell:Flowers Cross Border Malaria Initiative is preparing for its annual Round Table meeting, taking place in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe on March 1st and 2nd.
The meeting will bring together leading malaria scientists, nonprofit, government, and faith-based partners, as well as field staff from the border regions of Angola, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. This year's meeting will focus on new and emerging tools and strategies for malaria elimination.
Over the past decade, the SADC region has steadily progressed towards malaria elimination. However, many countries have experienced recent outbreaks and stalled progress. Through productive debate and discussion, the Initiative hopes to:
This December, the Isdell:Flowers Cross Border Malaria Initiative worked in partnership with the Zambian Ministry of Health and MACEPA to support the training of more than 180 Community Health Workers (CHWs). These CHWs will be at the forefront of malaria elimination efforts in some of the hardest to reach communities in Western Province, Zambia.
The Lusaka Times reported on the importance of the training. To read the article, click here.
Zambian President Edgar Lungu Highlights Return on Investment for Malaria Spending during United Nations General Assembly
Heads of State pledged new political and financial support for malaria elimination during last month's United Nations General Assembly in New York, as reported by the Roll Back Malaria Partnership.
Investing in malaria elimination saves lives and strengthens economies. In his remarks, Zambian President Edgar Lungu stated, "Every US$ 1 invested in malaria control in Africa, on average, returns US$ 40 in economic growth, contributing to the continent’s prosperity."
Read more about the recent commitments here.
Chris Flowers, Co-Founder of the Isdell: Flowers Cross Border Malaria Initiative, was recently interviewed for an article on malaria elimination in Southern Africa, published in Development Finance. Read below for a small excerpt, and read the full article here.
"In Angola and Namibia people cross the border frequently. 'You can’t work towards eliminating malaria without working on both sides of the border, which is bureaucratically not so easy, but that’s what has to be done and that’s a role we’re trying to fill,' says Flowers. 'I think there’s goodwill and effort towards cooperation in these countries. But the bureaucratic technicalities mean that you can’t just walk across the border with a bunch of malaria nets for example. The health post infrastructure, which is funded by the governments, is quite different on each side of the border. You can’t see the border, but you can feel the border.'"
Fighting Malaria with Data: Zambia and Zimbabwe Teams Sharpen their Surveillance, Monitoring, and Evaluation Skills
Isdell:Flowers Cross Border Malaria Initiative (I:F CBMI) program teams in Zambia and Zimbabwe convened at the Malaria Institute at Macha for a three-day workshop. Field officers and program managers sharpened their skills and learned new methods for measuring the program's progress towards malaria elimination.
As Zambia and Zimbabwe move closer to malaria elimination, collecting timely and accurate malaria data from the communities in which the program operates becomes increasingly important. Thanks to the support of Dr. Phil Thuma, Senior Scientific Advisor at Macha, field officers and program managers were able to practice conducting malaria surveys with local women and families. The new surveys and methods will be rolled out over the next year.