Breaking Barriers: How Community Health Workers Are Fighting Malaria in Zambia

Phales Mulinda had seen the devastating effects of Malaria in her community. She knew the distance between her village and the nearest health facility was a huge obstacle for people seeking medical attention.

But everything changed when World Vision and its partners came to train her and other Community Health Workers on the Free Zambia Malaria Project.

Phales is part of the 525 Community Health Workers trained last year by World Vision and its partners on Partners for a Malaria-Free Zambia under Mwachisompola Clinic in Chibombo district. 

With her newly acquired knowledge and skills, Phales could provide critical medical services and education to her community. She went from attending to 71 people with Malaria in her first month to only 1-3 cases a month.

"From the time I was trained, I have been able to not only work, but I am well informed about Malaria, unlike before." "I am very happy because of the knowledge that World Vision Facilitated to me to help my community," she adds with a joyful face.

riding to school

Phales was elated to see the positive impact of the Malaria prevention measures she had implemented. No longer did people have to travel long distances to receive medical attention. They trusted and believed in the prevention and treatment methods that Phales and her fellow team of Community Health Workers provided within the community.

"Thanks to World Vision, people are no longer moving long distances as they easily find their way to my house, or I follow them whenever a case is brought to my attention," Phales says.

Simeon Sikwiiya, Project Lead Manager - Partners for a Malaria Free Zambia Project, describes the work that community health workers are doing as transformative.

"By training Community Health Workers, the distances which people used to cover to health facilities have been reduced. People are now more engaged in productivity because of less burden of Malaria," explains Simeon.

Phales Mulinda's story is a testament to the power of education and community-driven initiatives powered by the Partners for a Malaria-Free Zambia program.

The Partners for a Malaria-Free Zambia program is a 3-year project launched in 2021 to help end malaria in Zambia. The Rotary Foundation, World Vision USA, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation each contributed $2 million to the program aimed at supporting the scaling up of Integrated Community Case Management (iCCM+).

The $6 million program will add 2,500 community health workers to the national health system in Zambia, allowing for effective malaria diagnosis and treatment for more than 1.3 million people in ten of the most highly affected districts in Central and Muchinga provinces.