Malaria fighter rides bicycle into battle with disease

Healthcare worker Dismus Mwalukwanda is on the front line of the battle against malaria. Saving lives is his priority.

Sep 10, 2015

Dismus Mwalukwanda works on the front line of the battle against malaria, one of the world’s deadliest diseases. He’s a community healthcare worker responsible for testing and treating patients in a remote part of rural Zambia, as well as teaching people how to combat the illness.

Although malaria caused an estimated 584,000 deaths in 2013, mostly among African children, efforts to fight the disease are having an impact. World Health Organization figures show that malaria deaths dropped 47% between 2000 and 2013.

Progress against the disease is thanks to a variety of factors, including the hard work of countless people like Dismus, who use rapid diagnostic tests and malaria treatments to care for people. It’s also due to greater availability of insecticide-treated bed nets that protect people from being bitten by malaria-carrying mosquitos, as well as increased collaboration among the many governments, companies and non-government organizations fighting the disease.

As part of that fight, Novartis supplies antimalarial medicine at no profit to public health systems and supports health workers in their efforts against the disease through malaria education programs. Between 2012 and 2014, Novartis helped more than 17,000 health workers in Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Uganda with training.

Listen to Dismus talk about the challenges he faces in his work fighting malaria in this audio slideshow featuring images taken by award-winning photographer Brent Stirton.