We are thrilled to announce Pilgrim Africa has been awarded a multi-million dollar, multi-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in support of our innovative approach to reducing malaria in Uganda.

The Gates Foundation grant — $2.49 million over 4 years — represents a major advancement of our ongoing efforts to build effective, scalable malaria reduction programs in the most malaria-burdened regions within Uganda, itself the transmission epicenter of malaria’s devastating impact globally.

Combined with initial funding from Rotary International through a Rotary Global Grant, and with continued support from our generous supporters, this grant supports a large-scale project to control malaria comprehensively and sustainably for over 40,000 people living in one of the highest malaria-burdened regions of the world.

06-malaria-Katakwi-MapINNOVATION, IMPACT , AND SCALE
Uganda is a high burden country and malaria exacts an enormous toll on the people, economy, and the health care system as a whole.

This grant will serve as a catalyst for malaria reduction strategies throughout Uganda, allowing us to expand our accelerated malaria reduction model; generate hard evidence of its effectiveness and sustainability; and then prepare to scale it up.

By developing and implementing a reduction model that maximizes the impact, cost effectiveness, and sustainability of proven malaria control tools, we will be able to both alleviate the suffering of those must burdened, while also shortening the road to elimination for the nation.



The four-year project, based in the Katakwi District in northeastern Uganda, will involve more than 44,000 people in various stages.

Pilgrim Africa, supported by local, regional, and international experts and partners, will carry out the work at a house-to-house level in Katakwi, building on our long history of caring for the most vulnerable in the most malaria endemic regions of the world.

The project has two phases, one in which malaria transmission will be drastically reduced using two powerful interventions, and a second show how these powerful interventions can be cost effectively maintained using community-led surveillance efforts.


Phase One: Maximizing Gains (First Two Years):

1. Maximizing Vector Control.
Controlling mosquitoes, the vectors of the malaria parasite, is the backbone of effective malaria prevention. Indoor residual spraying (IRS) with approved insecticides effectively turns a rural home into a large treated net, whose indoor walls repel and kill malaria-carrying mosquitos. IRS is extremely effective in Uganda but very expensive, and difficult to sustain. Our work is designed to make IRS interventions maximally effective while exploring a clear IRS exit strategy that allows for reductions to be sustained over time. This will reduce the overall cost for malaria control, while maximizing impact.

2. Malaria Medical Delivery.
05-gates-blog-sm Targeting the malaria parasite within the community, we will seek to “crash” the parasite population in people through careful, targeted, synchronized administration of malaria medication together with IRS vector control. We PREDICT that administering these two interventions will have the effect of “supercharging” our vector control, and reducing far more disease than either intervention would in isolation, even if used sequentially.

After the first two years, we will seek to show that >90% of the disease burden from malaria will be removed from the community.

Phase Two: Sustaining Gains (Years 3 and 4)

3. Community Engagement
08-gates-blog-sm Sustainability is always driven by local ownership and involvement, so we will engage the local community in an ongoing screening and malaria detection program. Rotarian work always engages local host clubs who themselves participate in the project and are benefactors to their communities, modeling ownership and engagement, The participation of Soroti Central Rotary Club is central throughout the project. Community-led screening and detection, if effective, will be a cost-effective resurgence suppression strategy after IRS and medical treatment.

4. Ongoing Monitoring & Modeling
We will be carefully tracking the progress of all interventions as the work unfolds, knowing that modeling and data will inform future intentions to scale this approach in other regions.

Our work is driven by compassion and a sense of justice, but is carried out with the most robust, hard-core science available with a deeply dedicated team.

Our staff and partners have an undying commitment to ensure that the poorest families in the world have a chance to live free from devastation and burden of malaria.

We are thrilled by the support of both Rotary and the Gates Foundation, and look forward to sharing ongoing progress with you, our supporters, as the project unfolds.