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Spring 2014 Update

Taking the Deadly Sting out of Malaria

Read the article from Light Magazine

Malaria is being Defeated – Village by Village
The key is early detection and treatment - by Stuart Spani
Malaria continues to be one of the most deadly diseases on the planet, killing almost one million people a year.  That is 3000 per day – imagine a 9/11 tragedy every day!  Many millions more suffer from the debilitating effects of this painful disease. 

The State of Mizoram, situated in Northeast India, is defeating malaria – village by village.  The method is simple, extremely inexpensive and self sustaining.  Early detection and treatment is the whole secret.  Diagnosis and treatment must be available at the village level.  They have proven that when malaria is diagnosed and treated within the first 48 hours it is easily cured.

To date over 100 village malaria clinics, called ZoClinics, are in operation, within Mizoram.  More are being opened each month.  The success has been amazing.  When a victim comes in at the first sign of a fever, chill or of a head-ache, treatment has proven 100% effective.  Not one person has died of malaria!

Prone villages choose a suitable candidate and apply for training through the Rotary Club of Aizawl.  There are two training facilities in Mizoram, one at The Relief and Development branch of the Baptist Church Lunglei in the south, or the other at the Seventh-day Adventist Hospital in the north. 

A technician receives one months training to become a primary health worker in a village. Basic nutrition is also emphasized, especially as it pertains to diabetes and hypertension, which are also prevalent in the state.  Once trained they visit every house in the village and explain the early symptoms of malaria and ask that victims experiencing any of these symptoms come to the malaria clinic for diagnosis and treatment,  Until the patient is declared malaria free they are quarantined under a mosquito net so that mosquitoes cannot spread the parasites.

A donation of $400.00 buys a microscope, blood pressure and sugar meters and a start up quantity of medicines.  The training is paid for by the Department of Health.  Patients are charged a nominal amount and other costs are covered by the village.

ZoClinics are the brainchild of Malsawmdawngliana Zongte, known as Dawnga, who remains the projects driving force.  Dawnga lost his father to malaria, in 1985, while he was attending university.  He was forced to return home to support his mother, who was also struggling with the effects of malaria.  He first teamed up with a local doctor to conduct travelling clinics during malaria season.  The doctor moved and the clinics stopped.  The next year nine people in Dawnga’s home village of Darzo died of malaria. Dawnga realized something had to be done and the idea of a ZoClinic was born.  Instant success spurred Dawnga on.

His dream is now not only to completely eliminate malaria deaths in Mizoram, but to see this successful concept go world-wide.  12 ZoClinics are in the process of being opened in Rwanda Africa.  Mizoram has proven malaria can indeed be defeated – village by village.  Now is the time to see the success duplicated around the world. 

The World Health Organization states there are 107 malaria prone countries, however over 99% of all malaria deaths occur in 57 of these countries.  The dream is to open ZoClinics in 6 villages in each of  the 55 countries left.  At present costs this is $2400.00 per country, or only $132,000.00 for the remaining 55 countries.  Once these clinics have proven themselves we would challenge the governments to use this method to stamp out malaria in the whole country.  The costs are tiny, the results are enormous.

For only a $400.00 tax deductible donation, you can eliminate malaria deaths in an entire village, or for $2400.00 effect an entire nation.  A lot of bang for your buck!

Stuart Spani is an independent video producer, living in North Vancouver, he has travelled extensively finding stories of individuals who are making a positive difference.  He has made a total of 10 trips to Mizoram and two to Rwanda over the past fourteen years and was introduced to this ongoing story four years ago.  stuart@lightspeed.ca  604 988 4996