Malaria Partners International - - Striving to eliminate Malaria Worldwide

By: Clayton Taylor

With Polio “nearly” eradicated, we now strive to tackle the next preventable worldwide killer.


Malaria is seen by many as the next worst, widespread disease that is impacting the world – after polio.  Malaria is a mosquito borne blood disease.  In simplest terms, it has the most severe impact on children 5-years old and younger, as millions of the youngest children have died.  For adults, it has the impact of a very bad case of the flu, thus resulting in mothers who cannot care for their children and fathers who cannot go to work to pay for food for their families.  


To address this head on, Malaria Partners International (MPI) was created by Rotarians to fight Malaria on a worldwide scale. Founded by Seattle Rotary Club 4, MPI now involves more than 40 other Rotary Clubs and significant partners in the international health field. MPI’s efforts first focused on the African country of Zambia and are now spreading to other African countries including The Gambia, Tanzania, and Uganda. 


MPI on the Ground

The MPI approach to attacking malaria is unique, using lessons learned from polio eradication programs to trace and target hotspots of malaria outbreaks. The Zambia project has focused directly on the training and equipping of over 1,250 village health care workers who can test for and treat malaria at the local level, impacting over 625,000 local residents. 


Another major aspect of the Zambia project is the effective partnership with the national government in the work.  This government involvement provides the long-term sustainability that will make this effort endure through the years.  


Club 29 in Partnership

Malaria Partners International “MPI” reached out to Oklahoma City Rotary Club 29 several years ago because of our club size and reputation for international service.  Again, that reputation points back to the leadership and hard work of our departed friend and fellow Rotarian Bob Medley.  Bob re-established our club as a leader in international service and for that we will always be appreciative.


With the recommendation of our World Service Committee, our club has partnered with MPI and other Rotary Clubs in the Zambia project. Our $10,000 investment leveraged an additional $25,000 contribution from the District. 


Our Club members were invited to join a group from MPI to visit the Zambia project in October of 2019 — pre-COVID.  I made the trip and am forever changed.  


As a result of this trip, I was invited to join the MPI Board of Directors. I have now served on the Board for nearly one year. I continue to be amazed by their efforts to fight Malaria.  


Club 29 Taking the Lead in Uganda

Most recently we were asked if Club 29 would take the lead on MPI’s efforts for a major Rotary Grant to expand the Zambia-model into Uganda — to train and equip village health care workers to fight Malaria at the local level.  We are excited to report that our World Service Committee and Club Leadership have embraced this effort.  It will be the first in time in modern club history that we have been the lead club on a major international grant effort like this.