Baltimore, October 12, 2007 — Lutheran World Relief is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a grant totaling nearly $900,000 from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The three-year grant, for a malaria prevention project in Tanzania, is provided through the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI) as part of the Malaria Communities Program, a $30 million initiative to support the efforts of communities and indigenous organizations to combat malaria in Africa.
"The Malaria Communities Program draws on the power of faith-based and community partners serving on the frontlines to prevent and combat the disease," said Jay Hein, Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. "Engaging these groups that have local connections and have built trust greatly heightens our prospects for long-term success."
The project funded by the USAID grant will be carried out with longtime LWR partner the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania (ELCT). The project promotes a holistic approach to malaria education, prevention and treatment that will reach an estimated 1.6 million individuals in rural communities of Tanzania.
Malaria is the single most significant disease affecting the health and welfare of Tanzania's population, with 93% of the population currently considered at-risk for malaria. Malaria is the leading cause of death among children in Tanzania, contributing to more than a third of all deaths of children under five years of age. In addition to children, malaria greatly affects pregnant women's health and birth outcomes. These two groups will be the primary focus of LWR and ELCT's work.
"We receive this grant with humility, excitement, and gratitude. Humility as we seek to walk with the ELCT and the 1.6 million people in Tanzania whose lives are so deeply affected by malaria and excitement knowing that this is only the beginning of a long-term commitment on our part to address malaria throughout the world," said John Nunes, president of Lutheran World Relief. "Finally, we are thankful for the opportunity presented to us through the President's Malaria Initiative and USAID."
LWR, in partnership with ELCT, will mobilize communities to increase awareness of and demand for malaria control measures such as insecticide-treated bed nets and anti-malaria medications among rural populations in 12 dioceses. In addition, the project will empower health care providers to improve the quality and scope of malaria prevention and treatment in 31 rural health care facilities. Lastly the grant will help strengthen the capacity of those facilities to consistently and effectively provide essential medication and services through forging links with regional and national partners. This award is one of the first five granted under the Malaria Communities Program. Other recipients are Christian Reformed World Relief Committee; Episcopal Relief and Development; Minnesota International Health Volunteers and Christian Social Services Commission.