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Are you a Rotarian working on malaria?

January 31, 2013 - 22:00 -- Bart G.J. Knols

I have been a member of Rotary International for the past three years. During that time I have met several people working on malaria that are also Rotarians. Rotary International is heavily engaged in the polio eradication campaign (through its international campaign 'End polio now' and has been instrumental in getting polio vaccination underway in the 1980s when the disease was still rampant.
Today there are only three countries remaining with cases (Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan) and so the success of the campaign (currently also supported by the Gates Foundation) is huge. It is fabulous that India which had massive problems with polio was completely free of the disease last year when no new cases were reported.

Like Guinea worm polio may be following the fate of smallpox in the years to come. Mankind's victory over some of the most debilitating diseases on the planet.
This week I am writing about Rotary International because my own club donated 660 dollars for our little campaign at MalariaWorld to support Soniran to study malaria drug resistance at Cornell University. This got me thinking....
Since we are more than 8300 MalariaWorld members today, it is guaranteed that quite a few of you are working on malaria and at the same time are Rotarians. I would like to know who of our members is a Rotarian so that we can join forces - when the 'End Polio Now' campaign ends, I have a new disease in mind that we can tackle. No need to guess what that is.
So if you are a Rotarian, let us know. Who knows what collectively we may come up with. Just send an email to and let me know the town where your club is based as well as your District ID.


Submitted by Pierre Lutgen on

Yes, I am a Rotarian from RC Luxembourg Vallées. 10 years ago we launched programs in Africa and South America promoting the use of the Artemisia annua or Artemisia afra plants against malaria and other tropical diseases. Several clinical trials, the last one in RDCongo have demonstrated the high efficacy of this herbal medicine against malaria. Not only in therapy, but also in prophylaxy and in transmission inhibition, After 7 days of drinking the infusion there are no parasites-gametocytes left in the blood.

Rotarians from Belgium, France and Africa have joined us.  We now work with 12 universities in Africa and South America, Artemisia plantations managed by local organisations  produce tons of dried Artemisia leaves in 10 countries. A cheap and affordable cure locally available. It has become a breakthrough achieved by young agronomists and medical doctors from Africa.

We deplore that these efforts are barely recognized and receive little support from the official Rotary Malaria Programs, They prefer to work with imported Bigpharma drugs, often too expensive for an African household.

On this  topic we recommend the film "Malaria Business" (Bernard Crutzen, RTBF, FR-0) now available on YouTube.