[ACNS] The Bishop of Matabeleland, Cleophas Lunga, has opened a cross-border round table on the elimination of Malaria in sub-Saharan Africa by saying that the “Anglican Church has a unique role to play” in the elimination of the disease in Zambia.
Bishop Cleophas made his comments as the Isdell:Flowers Cross Border Malaria Initiative convened for its fourth annual roundtable event in Livingstone, Zambia. The initiative is working for the elimination of Malaria in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola, and Namibia.
“We know that Anglicans frequently cross borders to attend church,” the bishop said. “We are committed to working with partners from all sectors in order to defeat malaria. Doing so will ensure the health and spiritual needs of our communities.”
The Isdell:Flowers initiative is working in partnership with the Anglican churches in Central Africa and Southern Africa, as well as the Mothers Union and the Anglican Men’s Association, describing them as “a sustained and committed force” who function as “community volunteers in areas affected by malaria.”
The three-day conference was opened by Zambia’s Minister of Health, Dr Joseph Kasonde.“Malaria elimination efforts will be accelerated when we strengthen cross border collaboration and coordination,” Dr Kaonde said. “The development and availability of policies, strategies, and guidelines is important. However, policies and strategies in the absence of adequate resources will render all our elimination efforts futile.”
The conference heard from malaria teams from the border communities, including members of the Anglican Church, and a broad range of non-profit, private, and government partners, who shared successes and challenges in malaria elimination, as well as new tools to address the disease.
It was supported by the JC Flowers Foundation, which works to “address critical health and social problems affecting vulnerable and hard to reach populations often overlooked by traditional donors.”
Within the affected areas, Ohongo in Namibia, Ofenda in Angola, Mulobezi in Zambia, and Mwemba in Zimbabwe were recognised for “excellence in the management of malaria” by the co-founders of the Isdell:Flowers Cross Border Malaria Initiative, Neville Isdell and Chris Flowers.