Rotarians Against Malaria - RAM

Mankind is on the brink of a global crisis as new and re-emerging diseases sweep the World. A report from the World Health Organisation (WHO) showed that of the 52 million people in the World who died last year, 17 million -including more than 9 million children -were killed by infectious diseases.

Major diseases such as Malaria and Tuberculosis, which once seemed to have been subdued, are "fighting back with renewed ferocity", and Malaria in particular, is becoming one of the major health threats in the World today. Over 2 billion people live at risk from Malaria, and each year, of more than 500 million infected with the parasite, 2 -3 million die of the disease.

In Australia the first Rotary anti-malarial campaign "Rotary Against Malaria or "RAM was conceived at the Rotary District 9680 District Assembly in April, 1990, and under the guidance of PP Dr. Brian Hanley and his "RAM committee, has and is making a invaluable contribution in the fight against Malaria, particularly in the regions of the South Pacific.
Many other Rotary Clubs and Districts have also taken up the challenge, and in an attempt to co-ordinate the numerous RAM projects being undertaken in Australia, and to develop a national approach to this major Worldwide problem. PDG Ian Yarker was appointed the f1fSt National RAM Chairman in 1996.

The development of a National RAM program was given further impetus by the adoption of an initiative proposed by Past Rotary International President Sir Clem Renouf, when in 1995-96 he called upon all Australian Rotary Districts to consider supporting a major International Project to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of Rotary in Australia.

In 1997 a majority of Australian Districts voted to support a national "Rotary Against Malaria -Solomon Islands and other Pacific Islands -Project", and currently 15 Districts have committed a portion of their available Rotary Foundation District Designated Funds (DDF) to this cause. As a result it is anticipated that in excess of A$150,OOO will be available as the Australians Districts' sponsor portion for a major Rotary foundation 3- H Grant and other Matching Grants in the fight against Malaria in the Pacific region.

At the Annual General Meeting of Rotary World Community Service Limited (RAWCS), held during the Australian Institute in Newcastle on Friday 21st November, 1997, a special resolution was adopted "in order to bring RAM within the Activities of RAWCS Ltd. As a result, on 21st November, 1997 "RAM was renamed "Rotarians Against Malaria", and was added to the list of Activities under the umbrella of RAWCS Ltd.. PDG Dr. John Reddish was elected by the current Council of Governors as Chairman, and PDG Dr. Richard White as Vice Chairman.

The RAWCS National RAM Committee is composed of the Chairman, Vice Chairman, and the Regional RAM Co-ordinator from each of the five RAWCS Regional Committees, with specialists in the field to be invited as members of a Scientific Advisory Board.

The first meeting of the RAWCS National RAM Committee took place over the weekend 21-22 February, 1998, and at this meeting plans and objectives for a National program were formulated.

The Committee, in addition to accepting responsibility for organising and administering the major RAM Project to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of Rotary in Australia -ie. "National RAM Malaria Control Project in Guadalcanal", will also be available to assist in co-ordinating and facilitating the various Activities being undertaken by Regional, District and Club RAM committees throughout Australia.

While each Region, District and Club will remain autonomous to conduct their RAM programs, the National RAM Committee will play an important advisory role in maximising efforts in combating Malaria, particularly in the Pacific region.
The Aims and Objectives of the RAWCS Rotary Against Malaria (RAM) Activity will focus on the four main avenues namely:
  1. Education, training and publicity.
  2. Further development of current methods in prevention and treatment of Malaria.
  3. Research and Evaluation.
  4. Funding.


Jen Parer
Rotary Club of Holbrook