This year’s Trans Kunene Malaria Initiative’s Community Malaria Award was presented to Ohadiwa, Namibia in recognition of the community volunteers’ contribution to malaria prevention and elimination. Chris Flowers and Neville Isdell, Co-founders of the Isdell: Flowers Cross Border Malaria Initiative, recognize the highest performing communities in Namibia, Angola, Zambia, and Zimbabwe with the award annually.
The Isdell:Flowers Cross Border Malaria Initiative (IFCBMI) relies on a network of community malaria volunteers, working through the Anglican Church, to support malaria elimination efforts in the border areas of Angola, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Specifically, The Trans Kunene Malaria initiative (TKMI) encompasses the shared border between Angola and Namibia. TKMI community volunteers conduct malaria education and household visits to ensure all community members understand how malaria is spread, and how to precent it. During household visits, volunteers ensure that bed nets are being used, and that any person showing malaria symptoms receives a malaria test and treatment if needed. This community-based work is critical to malaria elimination efforts, and helps ensure malaria does not spread across the border.
The community of Ohadiwa, Namibia celebrated their successful year in malaria prevention during International Malaria Week. The Kwanyama Queen, local council leaders, and Bishop Luke Pato of the Anglican Church of Namibia joined the celebration.
Susan Lassen of IFCBMI recognized the important role of the volunteers in the fight against malaria at the community level. The Queen of Kwanyama and the local leaders also lauded the important work conducted by community malaria volunteers in Ohadiwa.
During the celebration, four community malaria volunteers used drama and song to further educate the community about malaria. These volunteers were also able to meet with the Queen and local leaders.
The TKMI Community Award celebration coincided with World Malaria Day activities, during which the Minister of Health of Namibia, Dr. Haufiku, and the Minister of Health of Angola, Dr. Sambo, jointly celebrated the day on the Angola-Namibia border. Members of the TKMI program attended, including Bishops Andre Soares of Angola and Luke Pato of Namibia. The General Secretary of CICA, Rev. Deolinda Teca was also in attendance. IFCBMI’s contribution to malaria prevention was recognized by both Ministers of Health, who called upon both countries to increase cross-border collaboration for malaria elimination. Namibia’s Minister of Health emphasized the need to work in the community and with the community, house to house. He urged local leaders to work together to fight a common enemy, Malaria.
These messages re-enforce the community-based model employed by IFCBMI, and recognizes the work currently conducted by TKMI teams and community volunteers. A big congratulations to Ohadiwa on the great achievements.
View more photos from the celebration below.