Kigali, Rwanda – At the Commonwealth Youth Forum held on the sidelines of the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2022, Impact Santé Afrique (ISA) had the pleasure to meet Krystal Lorna Birungi Mwesiga, a youth delegate willing to share her experience as a scientist involved in the fight against malaria.

 

My name is Krystal Lorna Birungi Mwesiga. I come from Uganda, a country that is constantly affected by malaria. Growing up, I almost died of malaria myself and I remember my mother looking after my younger brother while he had the disease. I knew there was treatment available but we didn’t have enough money to afford it. That experience inspired me and next thing I knew: I had to make a difference.

Today I am an entomologist working on a project called Target Malaria, which seeks to modify innovative genes in mosquitoes to influence their breeding patterns and reduce their numbers, thereby reducing malaria in our highly endemic countries.

I am also an advocate for the Global Fund. I understand the importance of having efficient tools to fight malaria and other diseases, and I want everyone to understand that if we can mobilize more resources for the Global Fund, it will help us with:

  • Mosquito nets that make such a difference in the fight against malaria,
  • Research and other wonderful initiatives that are being done in countries like Uganda,
  • Funding Community Health Workers who bring free medicines and diagnostics to the village, including mine.

We have to make a difference!

 

Dear Leaders, we need to support the Global Fund to continue to provide us with effective means to fight these pandemics!

Dear Leaders and Heads of State, I ask you to fund innovation which is also an effort to fight malaria.

I also want to call upon the youth: you have the voice, you have the power, take charge of your future, advocate, use innovative resources, leverage your leaders, leverage your industries and let us #EndMalaria in this generation. Let us save our future generation and millions of lives.