Jack Ricks introduced Steve and Doreen Carroll who are travelling through Mandurah. During their travels, they are taking the opportunity to speak to Rotary Clubs about their involvement with the Rotarians Against Malaria Project (RAMS).
Steve served in the army for 20 years, serving in Malaya, New Guinea, Borneo and Vietnam.
At 70 years old Steve decided he wanted to contribute to community and "leave a mark" in the world.
During the Vietnam War, neutral Laos and Cambodia were bombed relentlessly by the American and Allied forces to distrupt the Viet Cong supply lines eminating from North Vietnam. Steve with his ex army mates, decided to revisit Laos, volunteering their previous military experise to find and remove unexploded bombs and landmines. Regretfully, their accreditation to perform this work was not accepted, and so were prevented from assisting.
Doreen and Steve then travelled to Vietnam, where they built a house for orphaned and displaced children. However, it was discovered that this area too was littered with unexploded mortars and bombs. While helping to rebuild a school near the house, the same problem was found, and needed to be resolved.
By rebuilding the school and dormitory, and by providing toilets as well as supplying uniforms for the students, the school was able to flourish and now caters for 600 students. All the materials used to rebuild school were locally sourced, with funding including contributions from Rotary Clubs.
Increasing insurance premiums forced Steve and Doreen to return to Australia.

Following a Trip into South-East Asia with his daughter, both Steve and his daughter contracted Malaria while in Borneo. Both were severely affected by the disease, and had to be airlifted to Singapore, where they were placed in an intensive care unit. Tragically their eldest daughter didn’t recover and passed away.
Steve recovered because he had built up resistance due to prior exposure to the disease, but those who do not have the protection that one's own immune system can provide are vulnerable.
Malaria does not get enough coverage in the media and is misunderstood by many people. Malaria is the second biggest killer disease in the world today behind tuberculosis.
In comparison, shark attacks are front page news. However, on average 10 people a year are killed by sharks world-wide. Compare this to 600,000 fatalities annually from Malaria. Malaria is one of the oldest diseases known; it affected early civilisations including the the ancient Egyptions.
Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness.
Four kinds of malaria parasites infect humans: Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae. Of these, the first two are most common, and the infection casued by P. falciparum is the most severe.
A very efficient mosquito (Anopheles gambiae  complex) is responsible for transmission of the disease. The female mosquito only needs blood to fertilise her eggs and feeds on nectar.
Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented by simply avoiding being bitten by the mosquito. Work is on-going with efforts to develop a vaccine for the disease. However, there is no vaccine currently available.
Mosquito nets impregnated with insecticide are one of the most effective defences against Malaria. The nets are generally effective for about 3 years and cost $6 each plus $4 delivery. Last year 40,000 were supplied to Timor and 1 million to New Guinea. A Rotary International project providing mosquito nets has been operating for some time.
A recent innovation has been the availability of a single-use test kit, which allows rapid identification of the disease. Each unit costs $6 and is proving invaluable. Romote communities are able to test their water sources for the presence of Anopheles larvae, and where detected, a powder spread over water (which restricts larvae growth) helps to reduce the incidence of malarial outbreaks.
Information is supplied to children through provision of colouring books with colouring pencils to educate and make them aware of the need for individuals to take the simple steps necessary to avoid the disease.

In 2015, a National Motorbike Rally was held on the Eastern seaboard of Australia to raise funds in support of Malaria Prevention Research, and $30000 was achieved. The funds were put into the Healthy Village project run by Rotary.

Griffith University is developing a vaccine which is showing a good deal of promise and is now in final trials.
This vaccine uses a live version of the disease but the bacteria is chemically treated so it cannot reproduce. The live vaccine causes our immune system to develop resistance (immunity), and as the bacterium cannot reproduce, the patient does not develop the disease.

The current tour is aimed at raising funds to promote the development of the new vaccine. The fundraising project has been registered by Rotary Australia Benevolent Society (RABS)  with the past Governor General (General Sir Peter Cosgrove AK,MC) being the fund's patron. The project is endorsed by the National Committee of Rotarians Against Malaria. http://rawcs.org.au/projects-2/rotary-australia-benevolent-society/
Spreading the word and gaining appreciation of Malaria’s impact will hopefully increase donations to control its affects.

John Smith thanked Steve and Doreen for their highly informative talk. John mentioned that this Rotary Club has supported the Mosquito Net project on several occasions in the past. As is the custom for our Club, both Doreen and Steve were presented with a glass as a momento of their visit to our Club.