In January, malaria was high on the agenda of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa. The RBM Partnership to End Malaria, together with its partners, including the African Union Commission, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the African Leaders’ Malaria Alliance (ALMA), used the occasion to shine the spotlight on both the successes and the challenges of malaria control and elimination in Africa.
Malaria efforts in Africa are indeed at a crossroads. While some countries have seen a greater than 20% increase in malaria cases and deaths since 2016, others are showing that beating malaria is possible.
On 26 January, senior health, finance and foreign affairs officials from across the continent were briefed on the latest findings from the WHO’s World Malaria Report 2017 signaling that, for the first time in more than a decade, progress against malaria on the African continent, which accounts for almost 90% of the global malaria burden, has stalled.
Meanwhile, a recent RBM Partnership analysis of 30 African countries’ applications to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria revealed that high-burden countries such as Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) also face significant gaps in financing core malaria interventions over the next three years. Nigeria alone accounts for 27% of global malaria cases and faces a financial gap of US$ 1.4 billion to fully implement its national malaria strategic plan.
African leaders have committed to meeting the 2020 milestones of reducing the burden of malaria by 40%. As part of Agenda 2063, the leaders have also expressed their collective political aspiration to achieve a malaria free Africa. The recent uneven performance across the continent puts at risk the tremendous progress to-date and African leaders’ collective ambition to end the disease. Thus, the message delivered by the African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat at the joint AU-RBM event was unequivocal: we must sustain the political commitment to end malaria for good.
Examples of such political leadership and commitment were celebrated just two days later, on 28 January, at the annual ALMA Excellence Awards presented by the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and incoming African Union Chairman and Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
Four countries — the Gambia, Madagascar, Senegal and Zimbabwe — were lauded for reducing malaria cases by more than 20% between 2015 and 2016, while Algeria and Comoros were awarded excellence for being on track to achieve more than 40% reduction in cases by 2020. Algeria could well become the first African nation to be certified as malaria-free by WHO later this year.
This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria — itself inspired and championed by leaders from across the African continent. As we celebrate two decades of collective action through the RBM Partnership, we must make 2018 a watershed year for malaria efforts in Africa — from the highest political level down to the local communities where the everyday fight against malaria is being fought.
Seven countries – Botswana, Comoros, Djibouti, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania and Sri Lanka – took part in a workshop organised by the Country Regional Support Partnership Committee (CRSPC) of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria in Nairobi, Kenya from 17-19 January 2018. The Mock Technical Review Panel (TRP) workshops use a blend of expert feedback and peer review to assist countries in preparing their funding applications to the Global Fund, which provides over half of all international funding for malaria.
During the three-day event, participants discussed how to strengthen their proposals, for instance by integrating community rights and gender issues, and analysing previously submitted grants. Sri Lanka also briefed countries on their experience in malaria elimination.
Following the workshop, four countries – Botswana, Comoros, Djibouti and Madagascar – will submit their proposals to the Global Fund in February 2018 (window 4). Mali and Mauritania are expected to complete their national strategic plans and gap analyses in time for submission in April 2018 (window 5).
Sri Lanka will also be submitting its proposal at that time, which will support transition from Global Fund resources to domestic financing. The transition funds will focus on strengthening surveillance and response systems and prevention of reintroduction of malaria. Meanwhile, Botswana is applying for the transitional funding to strengthen surveillance, and increase community involvement and ownership in a bid to eliminate malaria by 2020.
The RBM Partnership to End Malaria has been organising Mock TRP workshops since 2007, supporting over 50 countries in their funding applications, thus securing approximately US$3 billion for the 2017-2019 allocation period alone. The success and impact of the Mock TRPs were highlighted as a best practice by an independent evaluation led by the Global Fund.
African nations must renew their commitment and strengthen instruments to attain a malaria-free Africa by 2030, leaders heard today at a high-level briefing held on the margins of the 30th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa.
Senior health, finance and foreign affairs officials from across the continent were briefed on the latest findings from the World Health Organization (WHO)’s World Malaria Report 2017 signaling that, for the first time in more than a decade, progress against malaria on the African continent, which accounts for almost 90% of the global malaria burden, has stalled.
“Malaria alone is estimated to rob the continent of US$12 billion per year in lost productivity, investment and associated health care costs. It is therefore critical that we sustain the political commitment, as articulated in our continental Agenda 2063, to eliminate malaria in Africa by 2030 through increased domestic financing, increased access to life-saving malaria interventions, as well as more robust health systems,” said H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission.
Read the full press release in [English]and[French]
The African Union Commission and the RBM Partnership to End Malaria cordially invite you to
Malaria at the CrossroadsHigh-level briefing luncehon at the sidelines of the African Union Summit.Friday, 26 January 2018 (12:00-14:00)
Multipurpose Hall, New Conference Centre
African Union Headquarters
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Malaria efforts in Africa are at the crossroads. While some countries have seen a greater than 20% increase in malaria cases and deaths since 2016, others are showing that beating malaria is possible. Held in conjunction with the African Union Summit, the high-level briefing seeks to create a watershed moment in global, regional and national efforts to end malaria on the African continent. It will explore a renewed and strengthened commitment to malaria elimination among African Union member States in 2018.
H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission
Dr. Kebede Worku, State Minister of Health, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
H.E. Ambassador Claver Gatete, Minister of Finance, Republic of Rwanda
H.E. Chief Mgwagwa Gamedze, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Kingdom of Swaziland
H.E. Dr. Chitalu Chilufya, Minister of Health, Republic of Zambia
Dr. Richard Kamwi, Ambassador, Elimination 8 Ministerial Initiative
Dr. Pedro Alonso, Director, Global Malaria Programme, World Health Organization (WHO)
Dr. Kesete Admasu, CEO, RBM Partnership to End Malaria
Unprecedented global progress in fighting malaria since 2000 is at stake unless countries redouble their efforts, according to the latest figures released by the World Health Organization (WHO) today.
The World Malaria Report 2017 shows fragile and uneven progress in global efforts against malaria, an entirely preventable and treatable disease, which puts half the world’s population at risk and costs a child’s life every two minutes.
According to the report, malaria-related cases and deaths worldwide stood at 216 million and 445,000 respectively, in 2016, a flatline in the tremendous gains of the past 16 years in the fight against malaria. The report sends a clear warning that progress could be in jeopardy and resurgence is on the rise.
“Limiting malaria’s devastating impact on families, communities and countries has been one of the global health success stories of our time. Since 2000, thanks to significant investment, strong political leadership and new tools, we have saved nearly 7 million lives from this deadly disease. Today, we have an opportunity to save millions more by renewing our resolve and commitment, as a global community, to end malaria for good,” said Dr Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho, Chair of the Board of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria.
Read the full press release in[English], [Portuguese] and [French]