Projects for Peace: The Vision of Kathryn W. Davis

"My challenge to you is to bring about a mind-set of preparing for peace, instead of preparing for war."

Confronting Malaria in Mbarara

Project #
Duke University
  • Rebecca Agostino
  • Joshua Greenberg
  • Erica Jain
  • Eddie Zhang

Progressive Health Partnership (PHP) is a student-led initiative based at Duke University dedicated to providing high-quality health care in the developing world. In 2008, PHP formed a partnership with the Mayanja Memorial Hospital Foundation (MMHF) in Mbarara, Uganda, the focus of which was the fight against malaria.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are between 350 and 500 million cases of malaria worldwide each year. More than one million people die annually as a result of the disease, most of them young children in Africa south of the Sahara. Malaria is preventable and treatable; the challenge is education. These Duke students took on the challenge in a summer dedicated to malaria prevention through the care and education of pregnant women.

Working as partners with the MMFH “Safe Motherhood Intervention,” the students saw over 1,600 women in four health centers over the course of six weeks. Students assisted MMFH staff in providing basic antenatal care, presenting malaria prevention and treatment education, and they distributed more than 1,600 insecticide-treated bednets.

Treated bednets are known to be one of the most effective antimalarial devices available, are inexpensive, and can last for up to five years, thereby protecting children at the most vulnerable ages from birth to five. Utilizing in-home follow-up visits, students were able to evaluate the effectiveness of the training, answer questions or clarify issues, and determine if the bednets were hanging.