Life in the Peace Corps will not be easy. There will be no salary and allowances will be at a level sufficient only to maintain health and meet...”
Peace Corps Response volunteer Jesse Casanova works in Cameroon with Malaria No More. Below is his account of their awesome World Malaria Day activities featured on the Malaria No More website:
World Malaria Day is an opportunity for everyone to rally together for a single cause. It is a day when health partners, the government, the private sector and communities find common ground. This year, the Ministry of Health, health partners Malaria No More, JHPIEGO and CCA/SIDA, and corporate partners COTCO/ExxonMobil, MTN and Standard Chartered organized walks in three different cities in Cameroon to raise awareness of malaria and engage private sector companies to join the fight.
In the commercial capital of Douala, equipped with KO Palu t-shirts and flags, more than 4,000 people came out to support the malaria fight – the largest march to date in Cameroon for a public health initiative. Ranging from US Peace Corps volunteers walking alongside their communities to business leaders and government officials, everyone came together to march. But why not? In the last year, the government distributed over 8 million free bed nets, introduced rapid diagnostic tests, and started providing ACT drugs for free to children under 5. There is certainly cause for celebration.
World Malaria Day 2012 showed that coordination between governments, corporations and civil society is both possible and critical for addressing malaria. With increased funding from the private sector and coordination with governments, there may come a World Malaria Day in the not so distant future where we will celebrate victory in the fight against malaria.
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 16, 2011 – The Peace Corps and Malaria No More, an organization determined to end malaria deaths in Africa by 2015, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) October 31, 2011 to combine forces in malaria prevention in Africa.
“Peace Corps volunteers serve in some of the most remote areas of the world, working at the grassroots level to prevent malaria by distributing bed nets and finding innovative ways to educate communities,” said Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams. “This partnership gives volunteers more resources and utilizes existing infrastructure to help eradicate deaths due to this preventable disease.”
“Peace Corps volunteers are great ambassadors for America around the globe,” said Dr. David Bowen, incoming CEO of Malaria No More. “Their involvement reaffirms America’s commitment to the global campaign to end deaths from malaria.”
Through the partnership, the Peace Corps and Malaria No More will coordinate the training of Peace Corps volunteers and staff, work together to educate local communities on malaria prevention, and engage returned Peace Corps volunteers in malaria awareness-raising activities in the United States through the Malaria Griots Project.
Peace Corps volunteers will support NightWatch a nightly reminder campaign, developed by Malaria No More and Lalela Project, that brings together Africa’s biggest stars to encourage people to sleep under their mosquito net through TV, radio and SMS platforms. Peace Corps volunteers will also support theZinduka! campaign (Swahili for “Wake up!”), a media and celebrity engagement initiative that empowers communities and schools across Tanzania with the knowledge and tools to fight malaria and create a culture of mosquito net usage, testing and appropriate treatment.
For the full press release, see the Peace Corps website.