From 16-22 February, Malaria Consortium, on behalf of the European Alliance Against Malaria, organised a parliamentary study tour to Uganda. The tour group comprised four British parliamentarians, three of whom are members of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases.
The aim of the trip was to provide participants with a better understanding of the malaria burden and challenges in the development world, particularly the specific issues and challenges regarding malaria in Uganda and the work of Malaria Consortium and other NGOs and communities in combating the disease. Meetings were held with Government representatives, including the Vice President and the First Lady, and senior officials at the Ministry of Health and the National Malaria Control Programme. Meetings and discussions were also held with Ugandan MPs, the British High Commission, the British Council and DFID. The delegation also visited the paediatric ward of Mulago hospital in Kampala and several villages in the districts of Wakiso & Kiboga to see Malaria Consortium and partners at work. It was here that they met Community Medicine distributors, some of the most crucial actors involved in the fight against malaria, the country's biggest killer of children. They volunteer in their villages to, amongst other things, prescribe essential anti malarial medicines to children under five.
Members of Parliament included Mr Mark Lancaster MP, Shadow Minister for International Development (Conservative Party), Mr Kevin Barron MP, Chair of UK Health Select Committee (Labour Party), Mrs Eleanor Laing, Shadow Minister for Justice & Secretary for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases (Conservative Party) and Lord John Nicolas Rea, Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases (Labour Party, House of Lords).