In partnership with Rotarians Against Malaria (RAM), our planes are transporting over 20,000 mosquito nets to seven remote communities accessible only by air between the end of February and Easter 2023
Jerry Randel, a RAM Officer, reports: "I have been assigned to distribute nets here in Lapalama. I will stay here for a fortnight to survey households and distribute mosquito nets in the Lapalama area. Malaria is dangerous. 70% of deaths in PNG are caused by malaria. Rotarians Against Malaria aims to reduce deaths caused by malaria through this initiative. We are doing our best to go to remote areas and protect the people there from malaria.”
After unloading the nets, Sparki, the chairman of the haus sik at Lapalama shared about malaria in his village in the Tok Pisin language.
“Dispela sik malaria em is save kamap long hot ples,” he said. “Mipla stap long hot ples olsem na mi no inap long stopim. Planti taim ol lain i dai tasol. Tasol taim mipla kisim displa net em save helpim mipla planti taim. So i gutpla long mipla ken usim dispela net, em i gutpla tumas. Mipla putim (ol net) long haus sik, wokim miting, distributim i go long wanwan lain insait long famili bilong ol, insait long lain stret bilong ol. Planti lain, sixpla, sevenpla, etpla lain i stap. Mipla bai skelim inap long kisim na sampla i sot o mi no save tasol, mipla traim skelim.”
(English: “The sickness of malaria exists in hot places. We are living at a hot place, and we are not able to stop it. Often people just die from it. But when we get these nets, that helps a lot. It’s really good for us to use these nets, it’s really good. We take (the nets) to the health post, do a meeting, and distribute them to the different clans and their families. We have many clans here, six, seven, and eight clans in total. We distribute them so people get one, but we might not have enough, I don’t know, we’ll do our best.”)
Malaria deaths have been declining in PNG in recent years. However, PNG still has the highest incidence of malaria disease in the Asia-Pacific region.
RAM aims to eradicate malaria globally using proven interventions such as free mosquito nets, especially long-lasting insecticidal nets. RAM PNG distributes life-saving nets throughout PNG's malaria areas on a three-year cycle. This year’s partnership with MAF was to fly nets to airstrips in Enga, Simbu, and Southern Highlands Province. The first flight into a location will have one or two RAM officers on board who will locally do surveys and train local staff to do them and then allocate the nets. After two weeks, MAF is collecting the officers again.
Jerry Randel is thanking MAF for assisting in the distribution.
“On behalf of RAM,” he said, “I would like to thank MAF for transporting the nets. If it wasn't for MAF, I don't know what other airline or transport system we should have used to get here because there is no road connection, and the only way is by plane. So, thank you, MAF. Thank you for delivering the nets here to Lapalama!"
MAF PNG serves nearly 200 bush airstrips. For many target areas in RAM ‘s net distribution program, MAF is the cheapest, most reliable, fastest and safest transport option to reach vulnerable rural communities. MAF and RAM have been working together for over ten years. In 2022, MAF helped distribute nearly 35,000 mosquito nets for RAM to 26 airstrips in Western Province, West Sepik and Hela Province.
HERE you can read about our 2022 partnership with RAM.