Last week the newly formed Peace Corps Uganda Malaria Think Tank held its first meeting! Comprising the Think Tank are Malaria Team members Matt Boddie and Ashley Givan, as well as Community Health Volunteers Sarah Cornett, Kristina Sandfoss, and Chris Peterson. The Think Tank had the opportunity to sit down with Country Director, Loucine Hayes; Director of Programming and Training, Paul Sully; and Health Program Specialist, Cotious Tukashaba, to form a strategy that will engage Peace Corps Volunteers in all sectors to fight against malaria.
Capitalizing on the strength and innovation of other Volunteer groups within Peace Corps Uganda, the Malaria Think Tank will collaborate with the Water and Sanitation for Health, Micro-finance, and Agricultural Think Tanks to exchange information, resources, and plan cross-cutting projects together. The Think Tank will also work closely with the Technology Committee to make information more readily available to all Volunteers through the Peace Corps Uganda website.
Potential projects of the Malaria Think Tank include: regional malaria trainings, conducting a survey on net use and care at the household level, using Village Savings and Loans Associations as a platform for malaria education, utilizing mobile clinics to deliver education on nets, teaching tailors how to embroider decorative patterns onto nets, carrying out a study on how subsidized nets are adopted in a community, and researching treatment and pesticide resistance at a national level.
The Malaria Think Tank will meet again in January. However, members already communicate on a daily basis. They are enthusiastic about forming partnerships with civil society organizations, local governments, and international organizations. But most importantly, they are very dedicated to ending malaria in Uganda through its best resource: Peace Corps Volunteers.