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News and Updates

Nikon Microscope Providing Education
for Malaria Eradication in Sumba

A High-Tech Teaching Microscope Installed
at Malaria Training Center

July 2012

Waikabubak, Sumba, Indonesia –  Funded in part by the Optivest Foundation, a five person Nikon teaching microscope has been provided to the Sumba Foundation Malaria Training Center in Waikabubak, Sumba.

This new technology piece is a significant addition to the WHO Malaria training program and helps train and certify 16 highly qualified nurses at a time. Using WHO standard malaria blood slides, teachers can now directly illustrate the various malaria types to groups of 4 students at a time, greatly enhancing student skills. The complete training program takes 1 month and the Center certifies about 6 batches of students per year. Currently 126 nurses have been WHO certified and serve in every district of this large East Indonesian island. With the advancement of the training course, the Center is now also training nurses from neighboring islands where malaria continues to be a serious health issue.

Malaria, a disease spread by mosquitoes carrying the potentially deadly parasite, is the number one killer of children under the age of five in Sumba. Sumba is home to all four species of malaria, including the most lethal variety, P. falcifarum (cerebral malaria).

About Sumba: The island is located in Eastern Indonesia about 300 miles east of Bali and is approximately the size of Massachusetts. The population of about 600,000 people are primarily subsistence farmers. The standard of living is very low and has not changed much over the past hundreds of years. The local culture with animism roots and strong immerging Christianity dictate the continually changing balance of old world living and the influence of Western society.