China-UK-Tanzania Pilot Project on Malaria Control: Steps Towards Implementing a "Paired Learning by Doing" Approach | Updated: 2023-11-19
Recruitment of Chinese team members and pre-assignment training organization. 
According to the project work plan, young professionals recommended by provincial disease prevention and control centers or institutes of parasitic diseases, which are partners of the NIPD, underwent a series of interviews and evaluations. A total of 17 young experts, holding a bachelor's degree or higher in public health or sociology, were selected for the project from various provincial centers for disease control and prevention (CDCs) or institutes of parasitic disease. These included the Shandong Institute of Parasitic Disease, the Yunnan Institute of Parasitic Disease, Anhui Provincial CDC, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region CDC, Chongqing CDC, and Sichuan CDC. The selected candidates possessed undergraduate or higher degrees in various fields such as malaria laboratories, epidemiology, vector biology, pathogen biology, information systems, and geographic systems. They were also proficient in foreign languages, facilitating effective communication and professional academic writing. All participants had prior experience in malaria control, either through working with the Global Fund to Fight Malaria or studying abroad, and were eager to contribute to global health. Prior to their departure from their respective locations, these professionals underwent training in China. The training sessions focused on the project’s objectives, specific targets, and task assignment. Emphasis was placed on teamwork, effective communication and collaboration with local colleagues, as well as respect for local customs and culture. An annual project wrap-up meeting was held in Shanghai to review and summarize the project's progress and outcomes.
Assembling the Tanzania teams and pairing them with the Chinese teams in the field. 
Tanzania formed teams comprised of local experts in various disciplines, such as epidemiology, health statistics, vector biology, computer informatics, pathogenesis, and clinical medicine, to ensure efficient fieldwork. To promote ongoing collaboration and sustainability, Chinese professionals were paired with their Tanzanian counterparts. Team grouping was based on professional backgrounds including epidemiology, health statistics, pathogen biology, vector biology, computer informatics, and financial auditing. This pairing facilitated joint discussions on implementation protocols, fieldwork participation, data analysis, and collaborative problem-solving for activities such as malaria surveillance, case testing, case treatment, and vector control. Each group worked in Tanzania for a period of 2–3 months and received 1–2 weeks of quarterly training to enhance their foreign aid capabilities. Training sessions allowed teams to update fieldwork progress, share experiences, discuss future plans and actions, analyze data, and negotiate solutions to project challenges. This approach fostered knowledge sharing and training opportunities between teams in both countries.
Training the paired trainer and local community health workers. 
During the initial phase, a total of 37 highly skilled young volunteers were recruited by the experts. This group included 21 field researchers, 4 microscopists, 8 community nurses, and 4 community doctors who had previous experience in community malaria control. The volunteers underwent a comprehensive training program consisting of 6 days of theoretical training followed by 8 days of practical training focused on malaria prevention and control. The training covered important aspects such as the objectives of the project, technological roadmaps, and fundamental intervention skills, including case management, vector control, and health education. This training served as a strong foundation for conducting baseline surveys, monitoring activities, and implementing interventions in the project areas.
During the Pilot Project, the support of the Talented Young Scientist Program (TYSP) of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology enabled a Tanzanian entomologist, Tegemeo Gavana, to work for one year in the laboratory of the NIPD. During this time, Gavana gained expertise in laboratory techniques of molecular biology, specifically in the identification of Anopheles species and testing for Plasmodium parasite infection from these mosquitoes. This knowledge and skill set laid a solid foundation for conducting vector tests in the project.
Throughout the interventions, the project also provided comprehensive training on malaria prevention and control techniques for healthcare professionals. This training covered various aspects, including laboratory testing for malaria, standardized case treatment, follow-up management, vector surveillance, parasite control, and information reporting. The primary objective of this training was to enhance the skills of healthcare professionals in malaria prevention and control and to establish a local team capable of providing continuous and effective services in the community.
Rotation and management of Chinese field teams. 
Each year, teams comprised of 5 to 6 Chinese members are sent to Tanzania for a period of approximately 3 months, targeting the peak season of malaria transmission. At the conclusion of each rotation, the majority of the Chinese field team members are replaced while a selected few remain. From 2016 to 2018, a total of 32 individuals comprising 6 groups were deployed to provide on-site technical support in the country. The team leader is responsible for overseeing all activities in the field, ensuring adherence to the work plan, and fostering problem-solving skills among team members. Weekly team meetings are held to allow for progress reporting, analysis of collected data, discussion of field results, and resolution of project-related issues.