Meeting the Boss
Charles Nelson, CEO of the Malaria Consortium arrived this week for a visit to the Abuja office as well as some site visits throughout Nigeria. My PULSE colleague, Moaz Ibrahim, and I had the opportunity to chat with him. You’ll never guess where he got his start… yes, GSK (back in the SmithKline Beecham days). He now oversees an organization that is rapidly expanding its activities in malaria endemic areas and has made substantial progress here in Nigeria with the distribution and use of tens of millions of mosquito nets, malaria rapid diagnostic tests (rather than presumptive treatment, which has been the standard of care and is responsible for drug-resistant malaria), malaria combination treatments, and, most importantly, infrastructural improvements in health worker training, local education efforts, outreach and policy changes. Getting to be part of this organization is a humbling experience. I’m working on a project that seeks to address the need for malaria prevention during the high transmission (rainy) season in children under 5 years old who live in Katsina state on the northern border of Nigeria. The impact of just this one project will be substantial, with up to 180,000 children at risk in the study area. It’s an amazing opportunity and I’m proud to be a part of it!