Over the past several months we have been working closely with our incredible partners–the Salt Lake City Mosquito Abatement District, the Anastasia Mosquito Control District, and the University of Bamako–to plan the implementation of western-style mosquito abatement in Mali and to study its effectiveness. Now that the shipping container has arrived with the necessary supplies, we have been hard at work preparing.
Ouelessebougou Alliance is coordinating this research to prove that western-style mosquito abatement will reduce the incidence of malaria in Mali–one of the places with the highest rates of malaria contraction in the world. Most Malians contract malaria once a year. The result of the research will demonstrate that western-style mosquito abatement techniques will reduce the incidence of malaria in the region, reducing infant and adult mortality. Saving lives.
In a few months, Anounou Sissoko, the malaria control project field manager, will come to the USA to be trained in mosquito sample collection and the application of insecticide to reduce the malaria-infected mosquito populations. He will spend a few weeks learning these techniques under the guidance of Dr. Whitney Qualls at the Anastasia Mosquito Control District in Florida and with Dr. Greg White and Jason Hardman at the Salt Lake Mosquito Control District in Utah. With these skills, he will return to Mali to train the local technicians who will carry out the project in conjunction with the University of Bamako’s epidemiologists.
A team of researchers and support staff from the US will travel to Mali in June, including Dr. Qualls, Dr. White, and Jason Hardman. They will be joined by staff and board members from Ouelessebougou Alliance. The mosquito abatement experts are donating their time and taking their vacation days to be a part of this life-changing project.
The US team will join the project field manager Anounou, the newly trained technicians, as well as Dr. Mohamed M. Traore from the University of Bamako and other University of Bamako epidemiologists. The full team will start by inspecting the identified five villages that will have western mosquito abatement techniques implemented and the five villages that will act as the control group for the study. Then the team will begin the ongoing process of collecting mosquito samples, testing to see if they are malaria carrying and applying treatment to infected mosquito populations. The US team will spend 2 weeks in the Ouelessebougou region of Mali ensuring that the research process is on track before they leave. The work will continue through the end of the rainy season, typically around the end of September.
Once the research is completed for this ground-breaking project, the team will publish their findings. Since these malaria control methods are already proven in the US and throughout the western world, there is a high probability that they will be effective in Mali. With positive findings in hand, we plan to partner with larger organizations to scale the project across southern Mali and potentially jumpstart similar projects throughout the African continent.
We look forward to providing a follow-up report as we prove the efficacy of this project. Thank you for supporting this life-saving endeavor.
The Shipping Container Arrives in Mali!
Since our last update in early July, the saga of moving a shipping container from Utah to the Oakland, CA, port to the port of Dakar, Senegal, to Ouelessebougou, Mali, has come to a successful conclusion. By early October, the container full of mosquito-abatement supplies and the two trucks for dispensing the products had traveled the high seas, slowly cleared Mali customs, and traversed about 1,000 miles across the western Sahara to Ouelessebougou, Mali. The journey is complete!
Though the challenges of the shipment have delayed the project, it has allowed the scientists involved to better prepare for this ground-breaking mosquito-abatement project, the first of its kind in Mali, West Africa. The experts from Utah and Florida will join with researchers from the University of Bamako in Mali in early 2023 to collect samples, outline the plan, and fine-tune the protocols for implementing the project in ten villages in the Ouelessebougou region. During the 2023 rainy season (June-Sept), when the mosquitos are multiplying and especially active, local Malians will be hired to execute the plan and administer the abatement treatments in the villages.
We are very excited for full-scale project implementation in 2023 and sincerely thank you for your donations that have brought us to this point. You have made it possible to procure the supplies and trucks, ship them to Mali, and bring them through customs—not an inexpensive proposition. We ask for your continued generosity as we gear up with fresh, locally sourced insecticides in Mali, bring the scientists together in-country, and hire the local technicians needed for dispensing the products in the Ouelessebougou region.
This project will have a significant impact on saving children’s lives in Mali. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “A child dies every minute from malaria in Africa.” It is one of the leading causes of death there. Thank you for helping us find better ways to address this lethal disease.
Our malaria project is about to enter a new stage! A few months ago, we shipped a container of supplies (pictured above) for the abatement project. The container full of equipment, chemicals, and other supplies is currently en route to Dakaar,Senegal, Africa and due to arrive in just three days on July 9, 2022. The container will be transported from Dakaar to Ouelessebougou soon after.
Once the container reaches Ouelessebougou, the researchers from the United States and the University of Bamako will meet in Ouelessebouogu and launch the project.
We are so excited for the next phase of this project to begin.This project would not be possible without your donations, so thank YOU for supporting us throughgout this journey! We will keep you updated as the project continues to develop.
The malaria project is well on its way! The last report mentioned that our biggest barrier was sending a large container of malaria abatement materials. The founder of this project, Dick Loomis, was able to find a company that will ship the container to Africa! We are expecting this shipment to depart the United States by the end of the month. Our next hurdle will be transporting it to Ouelessebougou itself.
We have been working closely with the Salt Lake Mosquito Abatement facility to coordinate our plan going into Mali. It is imperative that we begin abatement measures before rainy season begins so that data can be efficiently collected and our measures can be executed to the best degree.
We will continue to provide you with updates as the project continues. Thank you for supporting our project!
The past few months of our mosquito abatement project have been exciting! Dick Loomis, our board member leading the project stateside, has prepared a shipping container full of donated supplies to conduct the research on the ground in Mali. Supporters (like you) have been generous in donating funds that are being used to create jobs in Mali as we train employees to conduct mosquito abatement research. Thank you!
Our biggest hurdle right now is getting supplies to Mali. The transportation issues in ports across the country have stopped us in our tracks. Our container is parked in Springville, Utah waiting to be shipped. (If anyone has any contacts that could help us get the container to Mali please let us know!) We are hopeful that we will get it to the researchers at the University of Bamako early next year so they can begin their testing before the rainy season.
To keep our staff educated about the project our new Executive Director, Emily Ashby, took a tour of the Salt Lake Mosquito Abatement District. This facility, as well as the Mosquito Abatement Center in Florida, are the front runners in the country for research, technology, and forward-thinking solutions. Emily was surprised to learn there are hundreds of mosquito species that need to be collected, tested, and studied to understand where and how diseases like malaria and the West Nile are spread.
We will continue to keep you posted on the process of the project and thank you for your continued support!
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