Posted on Jul 18, 2019
President Brian kicked off the first meeting of the Rotary year welcoming visiting Rotarian and Chair of Rotarians Against Malaria and the night’s guest speaker, Steve Carroll and his wife Dorene from the Rotary Club of Newcastle Harbour. In addition he welcomed partners and guests plus Zoom virtual meeting participants including club member Andy Ledbetter, eRotarians President Shogo Williams-Matsuoka, Jan Horsley, Rod Styles, Alison Lockwood, David Thwaites, Tom Kintail and Kate McKenzie who joined us for Steve’s presentation.
Following the meal and club business Steve took to the floor and explained how his work in Laos, pushing for the clearing of mines and cluster bombs and helping fund the building of schools, eventually led to his involvement with the bid to reduce incidences of malaria.
Malaria is the second biggest killer of people in the world with, on average, 500,000 deaths a year. One particular mosquito, the Anopheles female, is responsible for most deaths. Other mosquitos can spread a different type of malaria which, whilst dangerous and with attacks often recurring throughout life, is not immediately deadly.
Steve and Dorene work with Rotarians Against Malaria overseas supplying mosquito nets treated with insecticide (cost $10 each), rapid diagnostic kits ($6 each) and comic educational books for children.
There is no immunisation available, but a vaccine is being developed in Queensland. Research is about half way there, but many more funds are needed and Steve and Dorene have been fund raising since 2017. A Rotary Ride Around Australia Motorcycle Ride raised substantial funds. See this link for more information on the work on the vaccine and, in particular, the substantial donation made by Bill Gates
A final warning from Steve, when travelling, do all you can to protect yourself against mosquito bites.