29 January 2018

Africa: Zim Honoured for Leading Fight Against Malaria

Photo: Joseph Nyadzayo/The Herald
President Emmerson Mnangagwa speaks to South Africa Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula at the 30th AU Summit in Addis Ababa.

Zimbabwe was yesterday honoured alongside five other African countries for leading the way to a Malaria Free-Africa by 2030. The country received the honour from the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) at the 30th African Union (AU) Summit. ALMA members are drawn from 49 AU countries with the objective of eradicating malaria on the continent by 2030. Zimbabwe is not a member.

At the 2018 Alma Awards for Excellence, which were presented by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and new AU Chairman and Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Senegal and the Gambia were honoured for reducing malaria cases by more than 20 percent from 2015 to 2016.

Algeria and Comoros were awarded for being on track to achieving an over 40 percent drop in cases by 2020. Zimbabwe's award was received Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa. They were computed using the ALMA Scorecard for Accountability and Action, which tracks progress and elimination.

The awards are then chosen by an independent committee of experts in health, academia and the private sector. While malaria deaths have plunged by over 60 percent since 2000, cases rose in a majority of African countries in 2016.

The World Health Organisation (WHO)'s World Malaria Report 2017 signalled that, for the first time in more than a decade, progress against malaria on the African continent, which accounts for almost 90 percent of the global malaria burden, has stalled. Malaria, a treatable and preventable disease, already costs the African continent's economy $12 billion per year in direct losses, and 1,3 percent of lost annual GDP growth.

The AU has always advocated that it is critical to sustain the political commitment, as articulated in its continental Agenda 2063, which seeks 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.

According to the World Malaria Report, more than 40 countries are on track to meet global elimination goals, yet cases went up by more than 20 percent in 25 countries indicating a reversal in progress including eight in the African region. Some 90 percent of all malaria cases still occur in Africa. Swaziland Prime Minister Dr Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini said it was important that African countries allocate budgets to eliminate malaria.

"When we take our eyes off malaria, the cost for our countries is huge. Yet if we increase our efforts to control and eventually eliminate malaria, the yield we get from it is tremendous. It is time that we did deep into our pockets and provide malaria programmes with the needed resources.

United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres said the world must go further with greater resolve to reverse malaria incidence and to stop transmission altogether. "Success will require even greater commitment and stronger collaboration across sectors and borders particularly as countries near their elimination targets."

Zimbabwe

Mnangagwa Tossed U.S.$2,000 at Armed Renamo Bandit During Escape - Son

President Emmerson Mnangagwa tossed a US$2,000 bribe into the hands of a Renamo bandit who had pointed an AK rifle on… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2018 The Herald. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.