Malaria Elimination: ‘Malaria No More’ Lauds African Countries Recognised for Leadership

Chioma Umeha

Malaria No More congratulates the six countries recognised by the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) for their leadership in driving continued reductions in malaria cases and deaths.
A statement  on Tuesday, signed by Ms. Michal Fishman, Managing Director, Strategic Communications, Malaria No More said the countries receiving the 2018 ALMA Awards for Excellence were announced at the 30th African Union (AU) Summit.
They are: Senegal, The Gambia, Zimbabwe and Madagascar for achieving a more than 20 percent reduction in malaria cases from 2015 to 2016; and Algeria and Comoros for being on track to achieve a more than 40 percent drop in cases by 2020 since 2015.
Of the winning countries, all are recipients of funding and technical assistance provided through the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) and/or the Global Fund to Fight HIV, TB and Malaria.
Recognition of these countries’ efforts comes at a critical time in the malaria fight, the statement said.
At a briefing held during the AU Summit and hosted by the AU, the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, and the World Health Organisation(WHO), African leaders heard that, for the first time in more than a decade, progress against malaria across Africa has stalled.
Africa accounts for 90 per cent of the global burden of malaria; leaders spoke of the need to urgently step up domestic funding of malaria efforts to save millions of lives and improve economic development on the continent.
“After more than a decade of historic declines in malaria cases and deaths, the global malaria burden is once again on the rise.
“We applaud these countries that are making continued progress against this preventable and treatable disease.
“They are doing so by prioritising domestic funding and efficiently using funds from donors to expand access to life-saving malaria tools, improve data surveillance and strengthen health systems – steps which not only improve health care for their citizens, but also increase health security for the global community.
“These countries are showing that with determination and commitment, continued progress is possible,” said Malaria No More CEO Martin Edlund.
“U.S. government investments in fighting malaria in Africa and across the globe are paying off,” said Edlund. “They must be sustained to ensure that other African countries likewise achieve their malaria goals and reap the benefits of a malaria-free Africa. The stakes couldn’t be higher: millions of lives and trillions of dollars in economic gains are at risk.”
A study published in June 2017 in the online journal PLOS found that PMI was associated with a 16 per cent annual risk reduction in child mortality, saving an estimated 1.7 million children under five since the initiative began in 2006. The Global Fund has saved more than 20 million lives since 2005.