This impact story was published by Community Partners International. Learn more about us, or see the lives we've changed!

“Malaria Free Zone”

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“I used to have malaria very often, three, four times a year,” says “Bway Paw.” The 20-year-old woman’s young children sit next to her on the bamboo slats of their rickety open-air hut carved into a steep jungle slope. “After the [CPI] program, zero malaria. My children, too. I thought I was going crazy. I didn’t think a net could stop┬ámalaria.”

CPI’s malaria control program started with just five small villages in eastern Burma. We provided insecticide-treated bed nets, and trained our local partner health workers to test for and treat malaria. If the test was positive, the health workers gave drug therapy — whether or not a villager was sick — and returned at six month intervals to test and treat again. The key? Treatment + Prevention. The drugs cure villagers with the disease and attack asymptomatic malaria lurking in the human reservoir. Bed nets keep the mosquitoes at bay, preventing the reservoir from filling up again.

In two years, CPI’s pilot program resulted in an 80 percent decrease in malaria in the five villages. As one village elder said, “This is like a malaria-free zone.”

CPI has since scaled up to include hundreds of villages all over Burma, giving more than 400,000 people access to malaria control services. The battle is far from over, as malaria is an entrenched disease and drug resistance is an increasing threat. One of our continuing challenges has been accessing gold standard malaria medicines — Burma is rife with fake and substandard drugs. Your impact? Helping us bring quality malaria treatment to those who need it most!

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