Hamilton McCulloh for Seattle Rotary, 206.957.4260, 206.910.9797 (cell), email@example.com
Amy MacIver for PATH, 206.788.2021, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ben Cheng for PATH, 206.788.2154, 206.708.5441 (cell), email@example.com.
Seattle, June 17, 2009—Last week, the Rotary Club of Seattle launched a malaria initiative with Seattle-based PATH to begin the club’s second century of service. Seattle Rotary will provide resources to lead a pilot program in the Republic of Zambia to efficiently distribute lifesaving bednets to remote areas. The program will then be replicated in other African nations leveraging the power of Rotary’s 32,000 clubs worldwide.
“Our Second Century Project to control malaria will be no easy task,” said Nancy Sclater, president of Seattle Rotary. “Thankfully we are not alone. We will be working with PATH and Rotary clubs from around the world and in doing so we will be saving many lives.”
Malaria is one of the most common infectious diseases in the world, and it attacks the most vulnerable populations—the young, the pregnant, and the poor. About 3,000 children die from malaria every day, mainly in Africa.
“Malaria has become a global priority in a relatively short amount of time,” said Dr. Kent Campbell, director of PATH’s Malaria Control Program. “Seattle is so far away from Africa geographically but our city is a hotbed for malaria control. We need Rotary to support critical program gaps such as insecticide-treated bednets, procurement, health education and advocacy, and commodity management in Zambia that can be replicated by other clubs in other remote areas of Africa.”
There are simple and affordable tools available today that can be used to prevent and treat malaria, such as sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet, using safe indoor sprays, and providing effective medicines. The Republic of Zambia has been aggressive in taking such steps and has reduced the country’s malaria-related deaths by almost 70 percent.
“PATH is one of the greatest assets of our community,” said Bill Gates Sr. of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a longtime member of Seattle Rotary. “Dr. Kent Campbell is at the heart of the effort in Africa and we are so fortunate to be able to partner with him in this effort.”
Rotary clubs around the world made pivotal contributions in the campaign to eradicate polio. Seattle Rotary will build on the lessons learned from that effort and harness the resources from within the Seattle region to bring together African communities and businesses to support intensive malaria control, and eventually to eliminate malaria deaths in Africa.
Since its founding in 1909, the Rotary Club of Seattle has been dedicated to doing good in the world. With nearly 700 members, Seattle Rotary #4 is the fourth oldest and largest Rotary club in the world. There are more than 32,000 Rotary clubs globally. Our members include some of the region’s most prominent business, professional, and civic leaders. We gather at weekly meetings and other functions to fulfill our commitment to the Rotarian ideals of friendship, fellowship, and service to others. For more information, please visit the Seattle Rotary website.