The #ZeroMalaria Mission by Fair Future Foundation: A Comprehensive Approach to Eradicating Malaria in East Sumba’s Most Remote Areas.
Navigating Extreme Conditions to Conduct Tens of Thousands of Tests: The Logistical and Medical Challenges Overcome
Diagnostic and Screening: A Science and an Art – Conducting Tens of Thousands of Tests
Our socio-medical teams, composed of highly qualified professionals, are deployed to conduct screening tests on tens of thousands of people. We focus on detecting six specific varieties of malaria parasites, each having its own implications in terms of symptoms, severity, and treatment. Accurate diagnosis is crucial and highly complex, requiring cutting-edge medical and technological expertise.
Logistical Challenges: A Race Against Time – Reaching Ultra-Rural Areas
Deploying these tests in ultra-rural regions is a Herculean logistical task. The absence of stable electricity complicates using microscopes and other essential medical equipment. To overcome these challenges, we have set up robust all-terrain vehicles, like the Truck of Life, equipped with generators. These vehicles are designed to navigate complex and often dangerous terrains, allowing our teams to reach isolated, inaccessible populations.
Test Reliability: The Quest for Accuracy – Overcoming Temperature Constraints
While rapid diagnostic tests for malaria (RDTs) are convenient for mass screening, their reliability can be compromised by inadequate storage conditions, including temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius. We have adopted a mixed approach to address this limitation, supplementing RDTs with more reliable microscopic examinations. This hybrid method significantly increases the accuracy of our diagnoses, even though it is more time-consuming and requires additional resources.
” The #ZeroMalaria program is not just a mission; it’s a race against time to save lives in one of the hardest-hit regions of the world. Eradicating malaria from East Sumba is our ambitious goal, and we will not stop until we achieve it.” – Alex Wettstein, founder, president and chief medical officer of the Fair Future Foundation
Resistance and Adaptation: An Evolving Battle – Adapting to Insecticide Resistance
We are also faced with the growing resistance of mosquitoes to pyrethroids, the only class of insecticides used in the insecticide-treated nets we distribute. Additionally, we observe behavioral changes in mosquitoes, who seem to bite earlier in the day and spend more time outside, thus reducing their insecticide exposure. These factors add a layer of complexity to our mission and require constant adaptation of our intervention strategies.
Primary Healthcare: The Bedrock of Resilience – Launched in 2022
Launched in 2022, our Primary Medical Care program serves as a solid foundation for strengthening the resilience of local healthcare systems. This program is essential for combating malaria and bolstering overall healthcare capacities in the regions we serve, particularly in the context of limited financial resources.
Financial Challenges: An Urgent Call to Action – Funding Needed for #ZeroMalaria and Primary Medical Care
On September 21, we issued an urgent call to draw attention to our financial difficulties. Despite the vital importance of our programs, including #ZeroMalaria and Primary Medical Care, the reality is that these initiatives require considerable financial resources to be effective and sustainable. This call to action is not just an alarm bell; it’s an invitation to the global community to invest in the health and well-being of some of the world’s most vulnerable populations. Without adequate funding, there is a significant risk that these programs will halt, undoing the progress made and jeopardizing the lives of thousands of people. We, therefore, urge individuals, corporations, and institutions to contribute generously to allow us to continue this crucial mission.
Conclusion: A Testament to Resilience – Every Photo Tells a Story
Each photo we share in this article is more than just an image. It’s a poignant testament to resilience, courage, and dedication to eradicating malaria in one of the world’s hardest-hit regions. Each snapshot tells a story of life, struggle, and hope, reinforcing our commitment to continue this vital mission.
If our mission compels you, your support is invaluable. Monetary donations are more than just funds; they contribute to a future where healthcare is a right, not a privilege. By the way, Kawan, feel free to take a visual journey through our work by checking out our photo gallery and Instagram updates.
Alex Wettstein – Fair Future Foundation medico-social camp in East Sumba – Rumah Kambera, Lambanapu, October 1, 2023.