While global investments since 2000 have saved 7 million lives and prevented more than 1 billion malaria cases, the disease took 435,000 lives in 2017 and cases in the highest burden countries in Africa have increased since 2015. Today, more than half of the world’s population is at risk and a child dies every two minutes from this preventable disease.
You also may not know that it’s Rwandan women who are leading global innovation when it comes to fighting, and preventing, this often-forgotten killer.
With more than 12 million people at risk for malaria, Rwanda’s fight against the disease is not without setbacks. However, between 2016 and 2017, Rwanda was the only high-burden country in Africa to significantly reduce its number of malaria cases.
The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) began reporting trips to Rwanda in 2015 and since that time, continues to invest in the stories that arise from the East African region.
While African women, especially those who are pregnant, are disproportionately impacted by malaria, they’re also leading the fight against the disease.
To report on this groundswell of research and impact, the IWMF is partnering with Malaria No More (MNM) to bring women journalists to Rwanda from September 16–27 to investigate Rwanda’s work treating and preventing the disease.
These journalists will work with women on the ground in Rwanda to tell stories of progress and impact, including those of the women pioneering these efforts within Rwanda’s Ministry of Health and the Community Health Workers association, and their work with an array of local and international partners to fight the disease.
During the reporting trip, women journalists will explore the untold stories of malaria’s impact in Rwanda.
Topics will include the unique challenges that the disease poses to pregnant women, the vital role of community health workers treating the disease, the use of real-time data and new technologies, and the building blocks of Rwanda’s enormous success — led by women.
The stories resulting from this trip will add to the IWMF’s long history of reporting on healthcare throughout Africa, which has spotlighted topics ranging from mortality issues to HIV/AIDS to maternal and reproductive care.
This reporting trip comes at a crucial time in the malaria fight, right before The Global Fund (the international organization working to eradicate malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis) commences its triennial pledging conference. The Global Fund is urging countries around the world to dedicate $14 billion to eradicating these three diseases; if achieved, that sum will equate to 16 million lives saved over the course of three years.
The IWMF is grateful for the opportunity to partner with MNM and build on its repository of critical public health reporting. Join the effort to raise awareness and secure additional resources to combat malaria on social media with the hashtags #EndMalaria and #StepUpTheFight.