A group of international volunteers will confront southern Africa's fierce Zambezi River in small boats to treat malaria and expose its ravages on secluded communities, organisers said Wednesday.
Under the guidance of German expedition leader Helge Bendl, the adventure would start on March 29 at the source of the river in north-eastern Zambia, finishing eight weeks and 2,500 kilometres (1,550 miles) later in neighbouring Mozambique.
Advertisement"We will pick up teams of medical personnel every day to bring them to the villages they can't access," Bendl told journalists in Johannesburg.
The teams would distribute mosquito nets and medicines in the communities they visit, and doctors would conduct diagnostic tests for the parasitical disease that claims the life of an African child every 30 seconds.
"We will also be taking along journalists to show to the world the successes and challenges of the fight against malaria," he said.
The project will be carried out under the banner of the "Roll Back Malaria" (RBM) partnership, born in 1998 from a collaboration between several agencies of the United Nations.
"Our three objectives are: advocacy, fact-finding and co-operation between countries," said RBM media manager Herve Verhoosel.
"Only a co-ordinated cross-border action can force the disease to recoil," he added, citing a recent initiative between Mozambique, Swaziland and South Africa that yielded an 82 percent reduction in malaria cases in four years.
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