Peace Corps Response Volunteer Worked with Stomping Out Malaria

Peace Corps Response Volunteer Worked with Stomping Out Malaria


When I became a health Volunteer in
West Africa it really opened up my eyes, and over the course of the two-years I
was able to learn so much about public health what was really happening on the
ground concerning international development. I continued on in moved to New York City
and got my Master’s in Public Health. And that has fueled my interest even
more and I’ve continued doing it now for about seven years. Almost a 100% of people in Africa are at risk of malaria. In Zambia itself, 50% of all the outpatient
hospitalizations are due to malaria. As a Response Volunteer I am the “Stomping Out Malaria” in Africa coordinator for Peace Corps Zambia. Stomping out Malaria is a multi-pronged approach to encourage Peace Corps as a post within the country to become more involved working with
non-governmental organizations that are doing malaria control. All Volunteers in Zambia now—we almost have 300 Volunteers—will be trained in malaria control by myself and other Peace Corps staff and other Volunteers. I was asked by the Resident Advisor for the President’s Malaria Initiative, to be part of a net durability study. And the basis of the study is training Volunteers to go out into the community and select homes and do questionnaires with
the household on their net that they sleep under. After we collect that data we are sending some information to the
CDC and to the Ministry of Health so they know when they’re able to
distribute nets again. You can see by the tag that this is a
already been entered into the study. So we’re coming back to check up on how many holes have been made. The family has escorted me to make it more culturally appropriate for me to be in the bedroom. And now we’re trying to categorize the size of the holes and we’re also trying to calculated and observed the life
expectancy of the net if more holes like this are made. The reason why PMI and the CDC chose to use Peace Corps Volunteers is because we are at the community level. The Volunteers speak the local language, they’re able to translate the questionnaires, they know the people within the community that
they’re going to their house to. They have a comfortable level and it’s not just someone barreling in in a white Land Rover showing up and
doing tests and leaving. [Foreign language] The way in which I’ve been able to
hit the ground running with my work with the net durability study, with all the
trainings that I’ve done, with meeting all the Volunteers, with traveling has been very rewarding. Being a Response Volunteer has been able to fuel my knowledge of malaria. And I truly hope that I can continue working either in Africa, or with the US government, or in some
non-government organization that allows me to continue my public health career and in malaria control.

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