Rotarians Against Malaria by HC1210041517


									               Rotarians Against Malaria Newsletter February 2007

I thought it about time that I put together a brief report to bring everyone up to date
with what has been happening in PNG, Timor Leste, and Solomon Islands; and
Adopt-a-Village fundraising across Australia.

Firstly; a reminder to everyone that we plan to have a get-together as we did last
year, same location at Burpengary, on the last weekend on May, Saturday 26th and
Sunday 27th. If you have suggestions for agenda items, format, anything at all, please
let me know as soon as possible. Bill D has made a booking with Allan Male and we
will have to provide positive numbers for accommodation and catering by early May.
We have had a couple of suggestions regarding keynote speakers, but would welcome
your ideas as to the topics and people you think would be of interest.

Papua New Guinea.
Ron Seddon continues to do a magnificent job in PNG. Without RAM and
particularly Ron, the campaign to combat malaria in PNG would be far less effective.
Ron’s involvement at a national level makes it all happen.

Check the website ; it is informative, easy to navigate and ‘user
friendly’. You can see Ron’s influence. I am envious and wish the Solomon Island
website was half as good.

George McLelland continues his involvement in PNG through ADI . Recently
George wrote to Richmond Manyweathers “. I am off to WP, PNG, ASAP, for about
three months, to distribute 14,000 to 19,000 bed nets. I should have left 2-3 weeks
 ADI is committed to distributing the 14,000 being funded by PNG Sustainable Dev
Program. ADI has 5,000 in stock at Kiunga, but with almost no singles, so we have
needed to get the balance right over the three sizes before hitting the road. With the
balance right it would be great to give out most of the 19,000.
Sadly the hold up is my PNG visa which moves at the usual glacial pace, as for our
doctors each time. Usually I go in on a 60 day tourist visa but this time I thought I
would be there for at least three months, before going to the UK in mid June.”
I hope George can join us at our get-together; we look forward to hearing of his

I won’t go into any detail on just how effective the Adopt-a-Village program is in
PNG. The website has it all.

Well-done, Ron and your team in PNG.

Solomon Islands.
Whenever I talk to any group about Solomon Islands the first question is always about
the political situation and the effect on our work. I believe that the media coverage of
what has been happening in the Solomons and other parts of the Pacific leaves a great
deal to be desired. It has been very biased and unreliable in my opinion. It would be
nice to see the truth being told by both ‘sides’ and accurate reporting by the media and

Our work in the Solomon Islands has not been affected in any way, and I do not
believe there is any likelihood of “danger” for volunteers at this time.

As I write this, PRID Ken Collins (D9450) is in Honiara meeting with members of the
Rotary Club of Honiara and staff of the Ministry of Health and Medical Service
before preparing a final report on our original 3H grant, and a technical assessment of
our latest 3H application for The Rotary Foundation. Ken will report early in March
and the Trustees will consider our application in April.

Our application is for $US 200,000 to undertake malaria control in Honiara City.
D9830 (Tasmania) have undertaken to provide our contribution (10%) and the Rotary
Club of Kenmore (D9600) is the nominal sponsoring Club. My thanks go to PDG Bill
Waterfield for his assistance in arranging for his Club to undertake this role.
We now await the decision of the Trustee. I am quietly confident that our application
will be favourably received and if so I will provide everyone with full details of the
work to be undertaken (and looking for volunteers to do the work!)

In May last year two containers of long-life, insecticide treated nets were delivered to
Honiara. The shipment was arranged by Ron Seddon and funded by RAM. Almost
twenty-eight thousand mosi nets, in three sizes, ready for distribution to villagers in
the rural communities of Guadalcanal. Staff of the Ministry of Health and Medical
Services commenced distribution immediately and by November all nets had been
delivered to regional locations and most had actually reached villagers. That is a
fantastic effort considering that almost a month was lost because of bad weather and
an outbreak of flu, which almost shut the place down. It is early days but already the
monthly statistics coming into Honiara show a real downturn in the reported cases of
malaria from rural Guadalcanal. By this time next year we should clearly see just how
effective the net distribution has been. These nets have been paid for by funds
provided by Clubs under the Adopt-a-Village program and three Matching Grants.
The Matching Grants were sponsored by: - D9700, The Rotary Club of Flinders Park
(D9500), and The Rotary Club of Barossa Valley (D9500). A full list of Clubs and
individuals who have “adopted” villages is included on the website There are many photographs of net distribution and
house spraying on the site also.

Verbal reports indicate that the incidence of malaria continues to decline in Western
and Choiseul Provinces, thanks to the continued use of bednets and spraying
chemicals supplied under our original 3H grant. The annual malaria conference will
be held in Honiara later this month and I am sure that statistical data presented at that
time will verify these reports. There is no doubt that good use of bednets and an
effective house-spraying program has a dramatic effect on the malaria incidence rate.

Extensive negotiations with officers from the South Pacific Commission has resulted
in a formal agreement for RAM/Rotary to undertake the provision of storage sheds
and the renovation and upgrading of laboratories at rural health facilities in all
Provinces. The Global Fund will provide funds over the next five years for the
purchase of building materials with RAWCS volunteers undertaking the construction
work. RAM is a “sub-recipient” under the Global Fund guidelines, allowing for funds
to be paid into a Trust account under our control. This is quite a breakthrough and a
significant recognition of the trust placed in Rotary by others. The money involved

over the five years is substantial and will allow RAWCS Volunteers to plan ahead.
There will be a considerable workload in coordinating the supply and delivery of
building materials. This program will have a major training and skill transfer
component, a vital element in all of our activities. This work will commence in the
next three months in an area east of Honiara. Work on Guadalcanal will ensure we
have everything in place correctly before we move further afield to other Provinces.
Staff of the Ministry of Health is actively involved in the design of buildings, choice
of materials etc., and site selection.
This is a significant joint venture between a major International NGO, the Ministry of
Health and Medical Services and Rotary (via RAM).

Midway through the second part of last year I received a letter from the Director of
the Vector Borne Disease Control Program asking for assistance to provide new water
tanks for the seven health clinics that serve the urban area of Honiara. As part of the
VBDCP work Dr Lyndes Wini and Dr Jeffery Hii (WHO adviser) planned to
undertake trials of a new antimalarial treatment for pregnant women but found that all
of the seven clinics around Honiara did not have drinking water to allow the women
to actually take the tablets under the supervision of the clinic staff. Existing tanks had
been polluted, or no longer held water. A quick phone call to Rotarian Mick Willis in
Melbourne (Rotary Club of Mont Albert and Surry Hills, and D9810 RAWCS)
produced donations from Clubs and individuals to allow for new 3000ltr locally
manufactured polytanks. Mick has been to the Solomons several times as a volunteer
and knows the people and understands the needs of the RAM program. During my
visit to Honiara in November we were able to install two tanks and prepare the site for
the third. All seven new tanks will be in use by the end of February. This is a good
example of how RAM is not just bednets and chemicals to spray houses. Drs Wini
and Hii have commenced their trial. The people of urban Honiara are benefiting from
the enthusiastic support generated by Mick. Thanks Mick.

Perhaps this concept could be extended further and water tanks provided for the
laboratories we will be building and refurbishing under the Global Fund sponsored
program. A 3000ltr tank costs about A$750 in Honiara, add on plumbing and
installation costs, a donation of A$1000 would cover the cost of providing good
drinking water at a clinic. Worth considering.

Fundraising in general.
Richmond has recently returned from his holiday and is still ploughing through the
mountain of emails and letters that accumulated whilst he was away. Clubs who have
made donations over the past few months will receive acknowledgement soon.
Richmond has advised; “Currently, since I have been in receipt of RAM dollars, I
have processed $463,715.54 from approx 350 clubs”
This is truly amazing. I do not think that any of us, in our wildest dreams, thought that
RAM, and particularly Adopt-a-Village, would have been taken to heart by Clubs and
individuals with such enthusiasm. Congratulations and thank you to everyone who
has been involved.
But don’t relax. The need continues in PNG, Solomon Islands and Timor Leste.

My thanks to Richmond for undertaking the onerous task of maintaining the A-a-V

The Rotary Club of Warringah is to be congratulated on their efforts to sponsor a
second Matching Grant from The Rotary Foundation to supply bednets to the people
of Timor Leste in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Dili. RAM was able to assist
with limited funds, but Warringah Rotarians undertook the hard work. As you would
remember at our last get together it was decided to concentrate our efforts in PNG and
Solomon Islands, with limited assistance to Timor Leste. This of course does not
prevent any Rotary Club becoming involved in anti-malarial activities in other parts
of the world, and Richmond and I are often asked for advice on providing such
assistance. I recently had a request to provide information about our work in PNG and
Solomons for Rotarians in India who are looking at ways they might become involved
in malaria work. Rotarians in Western Australia are looking at assistance to Indonesia.
Word of our work is spreading.

In conclusion.

I would like to offer our congratulations to PDG Dr John Reddish in receiving his
Order of Australia award in the Australia Day honours. John was Chairman of RAM
in the early days of this Committee, and was responsible for our first 3H Grant from
The Rotary Foundation. Not only did John do all of the paperwork for the application,
but he also then administered the Grant for its duration, regularly reporting to
Evanston, and prepared the very detailed final report. John continues his involvement
with the Solomon Islands in the North Balwyn Club community development
program at Tulaghi on the Florida Islands. A well deserved recognition of John’s
outstanding community work.

Thanks to everyone for your continued enthusiastic involvement in RAM.

Hope to see many of you at Burpengary in May.

Peter Thomas
Chairman RAM


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