The second day of Malaria Boot Camp 6 was filled with high profile experts from the international malaria field. Staff and Volunteer Leaders had the opportunity to speak directly with malaria experts about the global malaria fight, malaria control interventions, and volunteers’ role in the fight against malaria. Presenters today included: Rear Admiral Timothy Ziemer, the Global U.S. Malaria Coordinator, Debbie Gueye, Senegal USAID/PMI Resident Advisor, Julie Thwing, Senegal CDC/PMI Resident Advisor, and David Guttelman, PMI Senior Resident Advisor to the CDC in Atlanta, Georgia.
Rear. Admiral Ziemer, Global U.S. Malaria Coordinator, virtually presented to the newest malaria team members via Skype. He started off by acknowledging the work of Peace Corps Volunteers and thanking them for their efforts. He recognized that “Peace Corps Volunteers are an integral part of the PMI team” and admires how volunteers “link theory with reality” through grassroots development and pointed out that “as we change individuals, we change communities”. Adm. Ziemer then shared a bit of the history of PMI, its achievements, and its goals. He stressed the importance of working within the goals and strategies of each country’s National Malaria Control Program and partnerships. Participants had the opportunity to directly ask Adm. Ziemer questions, in which he addressed the importance of fieldwork and reality of malaria elimination.[quote style=”1″]
You [Peace Corps Volunteers] are at the grassroots level and in most remote parts of the country. You are going door to door. As we change individuals, we change communities.[/quote]
Senegal’s two PMI Resident Advisors from USAID and the CDC spent the entire morning with the boot campers. USAID/PMI RA, Debbie Gueye, presented a thorough overview of major malaria control interventions. She broke down the primary interventions into two categories: vector control and case management. She touched upon the logistics and benefits of the major interventions of bed nets, IRS, prompt testing and treatment, and chemoprevention. Debbie also discussed how PMI works to strengthen health systems through researching supply chain management methods and information sharing. She explained how strengthening health systems contribute to sustainability of malaria control efforts.
Debbie also presented about who’s who in the world of malaria. She provided an overview of the major international actors in malaria control including PMI, Roll Back Malaria, and the Global Fund and their roles and operations.
CDC Resident Advisor, Julie Thwing, followed Debbie with a presentation about the principles of entomology and entomological monitoring. She explained how entomological monitoring is important to understand the impact of indoor residual spraying (IRS), a commonly used method of malaria control. Julie also explained the details of IRS as well as the environmental implications and strategies to remain environmentally safe.
David Guttelman, PMI Senior Resident Advisor to the CDC, discussed the current activities of the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI). Launched in 2005, the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) is a $1.2 billion expansion of U.S. Government resources to reduce the intolerable burden of malaria and helps relieve poverty on the African continent. Guttelman explained how country resident advisors (RAs) steer each country’s PMI program. He discussed ways for Peace Corps Volunteers to partner with PMI in order complement each other’s malaria prevention efforts. Guttleman encouraged volunteers to build good relationships with their country’s resident advisors.
Matt McLaughlin wrapped up the day with a session introducing the project cycle management. Participants learned about the multiple influences that go into various project frameworks and tools for implementation. After the first full day of boot camp, participants have only become more energized in what is to come.