Addis Ababa / Geneva – African nations must renew their commitment and strengthen the instruments to achieve a malaria-free Africa by 2030, leaders heard today at a high-level conference held on the margins of the 30th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa.
Senior health, finance and foreign affairs officials from all over the continent received information on the latest findings of the World Health Organization (WHO) World Malaria Report 2017 which indicate that, for the first time in more than one decade, progress against malaria in the African continent, which accounts for almost 90% of the global burden of malaria, has stagnated.
"It is estimated that malaria will rob the continent of US $ 12 billion per year in lost productivity, investment and associated health care costs, so it is essential that we maintain political commitment, as articulated in our Agenda continental 2063, to eliminate malaria in Africa by the year 2030 through increased domestic financing, increased access to life-saving malaria interventions, as well as more robust health systems, "said HE Moussa Faki Mahamat, President of the Commission of the African Union.
African leaders are committed to eliminating malaria by 2030, as set out in the 2063 Continental Development Agenda. Malaria, a treatable and preventable disease, already costs the African continent's economy. 12 billion per year in direct losses, and 1.3% of annual lost GDP growth, an earlier report of the Association, Action and Investment RBM to beat Malaria, has shown.
According to the 2017 World Malaria Report, progress in Africa has been uneven, jeopardizing the tremendous progress to date and the collective ambition of African leaders to end the disease. While some African countries have seen an increase of more than 20% in cases of malaria and deaths since 2016, others are demonstrating that it is possible to fight malaria.
"In 2016, only 15 countries carried most of the global burden of malaria, together 80% of all cases of malaria and deaths, all but one of these countries are in Africa," said Dr. Pedro Alonso , Director of the WHO Global Malaria Program. "The report sends a clear warning that we have stopped advancing and that, without urgent action, we risk retreating". WHO took the opportunity to launch a mobile application of the World Malaria Report 2017 that provides, with just a finger, the latest information on policies, financing, interventions and malaria burden in 91 endemic countries.
"African countries are at greater risk of losing significant achievements over a decade and must renew efforts to make malaria control a priority.Inside funding needs to be increased urgently." These investments – only a fraction what African nations will save if we manage to eliminate malaria – will pay off, in millions more lives will be saved, health systems will be strengthened, economies will grow and the world will return to put an end to this disease, "he said. Dr. Kesete Admasu, CEO of RBM Partnership to End Malaria.
Countries burdened with ashes, such as Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which account for 27% and 10% of global malaria cases, respectively, also face significant deficits in funding their anti-malaria efforts. malaria s for the next three years. Nigeria faces a financial gap of US $ 1.4 billion, equivalent to 68% of the country's needs, while the DRC requires an additional US $ 536 million to fully implement its national strategic plan for malaria. Alternatively, several African countries that have intensified their efforts, such as Senegal and Madagascar, have achieved a decrease of more than 20% in malaria cases in 2016, according to the World Malaria Report 2017.
About the RBM Association to eradicate malaria
The RBM Association to eradicate malaria is the largest global platform for coordinated action against malaria. Originally established as an Alliance to Roll Back Malaria (RBM) in 1998, it mobilizes for action and resources, and forges consensus among partners. The Alliance is composed of more than 500 partners, including countries with endemic malaria, its bilateral and multilateral development partners, the private sector, non-governmental and community organizations, foundations and academic and research institutions.
The World Malaria Report 2017 is available at: https://www.who.int/malaria/publications/world-malaria-report-2017/en/. The application is available for download from the Apple app store (for iPads and iPhones). A version of the application for users of Android devices will be available in February. You can find more information about the objectives of the WHO Global Technical Strategy here: https://www.who.int/malaria/areas/global_targets/en/