From 1966 to 1997, Peace Corps volunteers helped build the newly-independent nation of Botswana
into the African success story it is today. Then, in 2003 after a six year absence, Peace Corps was invited
back to help Botswana address the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic threatening much of southern Africa.
Since then, Peace Corps volunteers have worked in schools, clinics and NGOs, and alongside social
workers, nurses and district-level coordinators to assist the people of Botswana in restoring health and
prosperity in the wake of the HIV epidemic. Now, Peace Corps Botswana is proud to join the continent-
wide effort to Stomp Out Malaria in Africa!
As in the effort to quell the spread of HIV/AIDS, Botswana has made tremendous progress towards
eliminating malaria. Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS), mass distributions of Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs),
well-coordinated Epidemic Preparedness Response, community mobilization campaigns, prompt testing
and effective new treatments have radically reduced the number of malaria cases and deaths. From
2000 to 2008, incidents of malaria declined by 76.2 percent, while deaths and confirmed cases fell by
85.1 percent and 91.1 percent respectively.
Despite these great strides toward elimination, many of northern Botswana’s residents are still at-risk of
contracting this parasitic infection. Although, malaria in Botswana is seasonal, peaking during the rainy
season from October to May, the country is home to some permanent water sources like the world’s
largest inland delta, the Okavango. Regions like the Okavango in northern Botswana face a constant
challenge of vector control, unlike southern Botswana which is home to the vast, dry Kalahari Desert.
High HIV prevalence and the risk of co-infection also presents an on-going challenge in addition to cross-
border movement between neighboring countries like Zimbabwe and Zambia, who have less effective
malaria control measures in place.
Beginning in 2012, Peace Corps Botswana will begin to integrate malaria prevention messages into our
primary HIV focus beginning with malaria specific trainings for volunteers in endemic and at-risk regions
of the country. Botswana is an African success story when it comes to maintaining peace and prosperity
and when it comes to stomping out malaria, but our work will not be finished until elimination is
reached. For Botswana this means zero local transmissions by 2015, so stomp on ditsala and stay tuned
to stompoutmalaria.com to track our progress!
Photo caption: A Standard Five Girls Leading Our World (GLOW) Club member displays a drawing of
herself sleeping under a mosquito net in the Chobe region of northern Botswana.