Your MACEPA Malaria Minute: Making noise in Mongu

By Chelsea Montes De Oca
Advocacy and Communications Officer, MACEPA, and Global Health Corps Fellow

How do you make noise in the fight against malaria? One way is to enlist radio journalists. That’s exactly what the PATH Malaria Control and Elimination Partnership in Africa (MACEPA) and Zambia’s National Malaria Elimination Centre (NMEC) did at a community radio training in Mongu, Zambia, last week. This two-day training educated journalists from all five radio stations in Western Province on Zambia’s malaria elimination strategy and the role of radio in reporting on malaria. National TV and radio presenter Raphael Kumwenda also joined to guide participants on best practices in interviewing, audio recording, and structuring a story.

During day two, participants visited local communities to apply what they learned the previous day and capture the voices of community members. Following the visit, participants were given studio time to put together a piece for review by the group. This experiential component helped them practice important skills in gathering recordings in the field, scripting, and assembling a concise piece for broadcast. The national broadcaster even did a piece from the training with a script from Raphael, which you can listen to here:

The NMEC is building upon this experience and expanding the training to other areas of Zambia.

Raphael Kumwenda with ZNBC presents to the group on day one of training. Photo: Todd Jennings/PATH

“This training has been quite educational…I’ve learned that we
need to get involved as a media in malaria. We are actually
key participants in this fight.” – Lovering Sichizya

The group visited the Mandanga community and Mongu Harbor to hear directly from community members about the impact of malaria on their lives. They also had the opportunity to troubleshoot common recording issues in the field like interference from background noise and wind.
Photos: Chelsea Montes de Oca/PATH

After the training, facilitators had an opportunity to tour radio stations in Mongu including MunguFM and Radio Lyambai.
Photos: PATH/MunguFM

Wiping malaria off the map

By guest contributor Marena Brinkhurst
Community Team Program Manager, Mapbox

As part of the Visualize No Malaria initiative with the Tableau Foundation and other technology partners, Mapbox has been supporting PATH and Zambia’s Ministry of Health to create and use geospatial data to aid with data analysis and program implementation. We’ve been involved for the last few years, but this month I had the chance to visit Zambia and meet the team that is driving this initiative.

I met with NMEC leadership and interviewed MACEPA’s Kafula Silumbe at the malaria elimination HQ. Then I traveled to Chirundu District to meet with Lawrence Sichali, the district health information officer, to learn more about how he and the Chirundu District team are using maps and location data in their work against malaria. We visited the community of Chipepo to meet with a community health worker and environmental technician and understand what eliminating malaria looks like at the community level.

Thank you so much to everyone at PATH and the ministry who welcomed me and supported my visit—it has given me invaluable insight into the work and lots of ideas of how Mapbox can continue to support and learn as part of Visualize No Malaria. I look forward to continued collaboration.

Marena interviewing Lawrence Sichali on his love of maps and how they’ve aided his work as the District Health Information Officer.
Photos: Todd Jennings/PATH

Ufulu Soul Studios capturing footage of Chipepo Health Facility and the perspectives of community health workers on the ground. The film crew was also able to break out a drone to capture amazing aerial footage of Chipepo and the lower Zambezi River.
Photos: Chelsea Montes de Oca/PATH

Marena also led two days of PATH’s third Tableau training with Jonathan Drummey (presenting in previous photo) focused on maps—how to make custom basemaps in Mapbox Studio, how to add custom data, how to map unmapped areas and missing buildings in OpenStreetMap, and how to work with maps in Tableau.
Photos: PATH

We won’t beat malaria unless we rethink our financing mechanisms

Maintaining adequate funding for malaria can be a challenge as countries accelerate toward elimination and other public health concerns take higher priority. In this op-ed, Devex author and Global Fund senior advisor Christoph Benn discusses the need to cultivate smart partnerships to avoid sliding backward in the fight against malaria. In a related article, Devex Senior Reporter Jenny Lei Ravelo discusses how innovative financing strategies are being implemented in the Asia-Pacific region to keep the fight alive.

And here’s one random read about the jaw-dropping world of termites because it’s fascinating!

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