Sunday 7 July 2019, Niamey - Today the RBM Partnership to End Malaria and the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) have formally agreed to work more closely with three regional economic communities in Africa, in an effort to step up the fight against malaria in these regions.
The RBM Partnership to End Malaria and ALMA signed separate MOUs* today at the African Union’s 33rd Summit in Niamey, Niger, to support the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the West African Health Organization (WAHO) to accelerate malaria elimination across their regions.
Currently, high levels of migration and mobility between the countries in the SADC region facilitate the transfer of malaria-infected mosquitos between these countries in southern Africa. The SADC’s collaborative approach, with support from ALMA and the RBM Partnership, will therefore be critical for controlling the spread of malaria in the region and increasing resources available for fighting the disease.
This is equally important across the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), where high burden countries, such as Mali and Guinea, border countries which are making steady progress against malaria such as Senegal and The Gambia.
The ECCAS region is home to the second highest-burden malaria country in the world—Democratic Republic of the Congo—as well as nations that have seen significant upsurges in malaria cases, such as Burundi. Working together, ALMA, ECCAS and the RBM Partnership will develop the first-ever scorecard comprising data from the region’s 11 member states.
At a press conference, the organisations announced their agreement to collaborate on several commitments, including:
• Supporting advocacy to elevate and maintain the elimination agenda at the highest political level within the region
• Collaborating on joint data collection and information tracking
• Collaborating on the promotion of local manufacturing of essential medicines and commodities for malaria and health
• Supporting cross-border initiatives geared towards malaria elimination, such as the Sahel Malaria Elimination Initiative in West Africa and Elimination 8 within SADC
• Providing technical support and capacity building to the national malaria programmes in the regions
• Intensifying resource mobilisation.
Each of these organisations are committed to working together towards malaria elimination and decreasing malaria cases by at least 90% by 2030, in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the World Health Organisation’s Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030.
Her Excellency Mrs. Amira El Fadil, Africa Union Commissioner for Social Affairs, said:
“Actions undertaken by AU Member States to eliminate Malaria over the past decades showed significant progress. However, maintaining the response to defeat the disease remains a priority to achieve the commitment made by the African Heads of the State and Government. In line with the AU theme of the year of ‘Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced persons: Finding durable solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa’, the Commission rely on its pillars represented by RECs in leaving no one behind.”
Dr Abdourahmane Diallo, CEO, RBM Partnership to End Malaria, said:
“These agreements are a hugely positive step to guaranteeing the success of these regional initiatives and accelerating efforts to end malaria. We look forward to working even more closely with ALMA, WAHO and the SADC to collaborate on projects that will help achieve this aim. Regional initiatives have proved fruitful in managing malaria control in areas greatly affected by the disease. Examples of these initiatives can be seen across the Greater Mekong region, Latin America, and more recently on the African continent. If we are to achieve malaria elimination in our lifetime, close collaboration between bordering countries must be established to ensure the most efficient use of resources, and to prevent the disease from crossing into neighbouring countries.”
Increasing engagement and joint implementation of continental policy frameworks with regional economic communities is a major priority for both the African Union Commission and the African Leaders Malaria Alliance, as outlined in their joint-workplan for 2018-2019.
Joy Phumaphi, Executive Secretary of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance said:
“The historic signing of these memoranda of understanding is a significant milestone towards providing a concrete framework for coordinating and providing support to the national malaria programmes as well as streamline cross border collaboration and co-ordination to achieve continental and global targets to eliminate malaria by 2030”.
Notes to editors
*MOU – Memorandum of Understanding
To arrange an interview or find out more about malaria elimination in the SADC and ECOWAS regions, please contact the RBM Partnership press office at Grayling on RBMPartnership@grayling.com or call +44 (0) 20 3861 3747.
For ALMA, contact Mr. Tawanda Chisango, Communications Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1-929-375-2100.
About the RBM Partnership to End Malaria
The RBM Partnership to End Malaria is the largest global platform for coordinated action against malaria. Originally established as Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership in 1998, it mobilises for action and resources and forges consensus among partners. The Partnership is comprised of more than 500 partners, including malaria endemic countries, their bilateral and multilateral development partners, the private sector, nongovernmental and community-based organisations, foundations, and research and academic institutions. www.endmalaria.org
Founded in 2009, the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) is a ground breaking coalition of African heads of state and government working across country and regional borders to achieve a malaria-free Africa by 2030. All member states of the African Union are members of ALMA. www.alma2030.org