Why malaria?

Malaria has killed and debilitated humans since history began. Though there have been impressive reductions in the incidence of both disease and death in this century, with a halving of cases and deaths since 2000, malaria remains a disease that causes over 400,000 fatalities every year – many of them among small children – and imposes a heavy burden on the health and wellbeing of some 229 million people. The heaviest toll taken by malaria is among the poorest communities, mostly in Africa and in other tropical regions. Malaria reflects the health inequality between developed and developing countries.

Among Australia’s neighbours, malaria has almost been eliminated in Timor Leste and Vanuatu is aiming for elimination in the next few years. The disease remains a significant problem in PNG, Eastern Indonesia, and Solomon Islands.

Who are our partner countries?

  • Papua New Guinea – RAM PNG is a partner of RAM in Australia
  • Solomon Islands
  • Timor Leste and the adjoining Indonesian province of NTT in West Timor
  • Vanuatu
Malaria – Estimated cases and deaths in 2019
Solomon Islands164,000190
Timor Leste00

(WHO World Malaria Report 2020)

What do we do?

RAM is a national Rotary activity of RAWCS – Rotary Australia World Community Service Ltd. Donations to RAM through RAWCS (registered charity) are tax deductible.

RAM supports projects that aim to control and ultimately eliminate malaria. We work with government health programs in our partner countries, and follow the recommended WHO guidelines on the best strategies for control and elimination.

Most of the projects we support are in the area of vector control, ie reducing the mosquito population and the opportunity for mosquitos to bite humans and thus spread the malaria parasite. The main RAM expenditures are for the provision and distribution of Long Lasting Insecticide-treated Nets (LLINs); Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS); environmental improvements such as through the Healthy Villages project. We also train community health volunteers to participate in mass LLINs distribution and malaria education. A long-term project that we support is the Chasing Malaria program in selected provinces in PNG. The Chasing Malaria program aims to increase malaria education in selected primary schools via the ‘School Malaria clubs’. Children are sent out each week to look for malaria breeding sites and destroying them where necessary.

The program also increases access to malaria services to local communities through the availability of school teachers who are trained in testing and treating malaria.

RAM fundraises – donations come from individuals, from Rotary Clubs, and from Rotary International and other public health funders such as the Global Fund. Several District Governors’ Partners have adopted RAM as their project which have been helpful in fund raising for the much needed support in our partner countries. RAM Australia also attracts Rotary Global Grants. As we journey through difficult economic times in Australia where most of our donations are from, RAM Australia is forced to look elsewhere such as applying for grants from and external to Rotary, to fund activities in partner countries.

RAM is managed by a network of Rotarians with a RAM representative in each of the 19 Rotary districts in Australia. RAM Australia volunteers develop and manage projects, and administer funds. Through the facilities provided by RAWCS Ltd, RAM facilitates opportunities for Rotarians and Rotaractors, especially those with expertise in medical science and project governance, to visit the in-country programs. RAM provides information and resources on the latest research and development in malaria elimination.

For more information, check out the “Country Programs” tab and our quarterly Newsletter located on the website menu.