UN Special Envoy for Malaria Notes Seven African Countries Lead the Continent in Malaria Control, According to the African Leaders Malaria Alliance. Annual awards – bestowed at the AU – highlight how Africa’s future is inextricably tied to progress in defeating malaria.
Yesterady during the official opening of the African Union Summit of heads of state, H.E. Armando Guebuza, President of Mozambique, conferred the 2014 African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) Awards for Excellence in Vector Control to Cape Verde, Madagascar, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Swaziland. Each country has demonstrated exemplary leadership in maintaining at least 95% coverage year round of Long-Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLIN) and/or Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) interventions, the most important tools in preventing malaria.
Malaria is a leading cause of child deaths and kills 627,000 people every year, most in Africa. The continent has made tremendous progress in the delivery and use of life-saving tools in the fight against malaria, including LLINs, IRS, rapid diagnostic tests, and effective treatments, including preventative care during pregnancy.
Yet malaria continues to wreak a huge toll on Africa. It burdens already fragile health systems; it is a leading cause of absenteeism in schools; it negatively impacts agricultural productivity and businesses large and small when employees and entrepreneurs are kept from their work; and it robs African countries of at least USD $12 billion every year in economic potential.
Last month, the World Malaria Report declared that as a result of significant scaling-up of malaria control interventions, an estimated 3.1 million lives have been saved in Africa since 2000, reducing malaria mortality rates by 49%. And while funding challenges remain, resources for malaria prevention globally have grown from $100 million in 2000 to an estimated $1.9 billion in 2013.
We must sustain the gains already made, as we strive towards achieving the MDG goals by 2015, we call on all stakeholders in the malaria space, the government and private sector to come together and work towards eliminating this ANCIENT FOE called MALARIA