In 2009, eight countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) formed an unprecedented partnership to collaborate at a regional level towards one common goal: achievement of malaria elimination. In 2019, these countries celebrate a decade of working together to address challenges in malaria elimination that go beyond the scope of each individual country.
The Ministries of Health of the Governments of Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe collaborate at technical and policy levels throughout the year through the E8 platform to fast-track progress towards attainment of malaria elimination by 2030. In November 2019, all sixteen SADC Ministers of Health and Ministers Responsible for HIV and AIDS convened in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, for the annual SADC Ministers of Health meeting.
This was also an opportunity for the E8 Ministers and Senior Officials to commemorate their ten-year anniversary during an evening cocktail event hosted at the Hyatt Regency on 6 November 2019.
The celebratory event was opened by the E8 Ambassador and former Namibian Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Nchabi Kamwi. In his opening remarks, he reflected on the moment of great significance in 2009, when eight Ministers of Health realized one of their common enemies, malaria, was also one of their greatest common goals to achieve malaria elimination for the southern African region.
He continued, "This was a moment of great foresight, a moment of hope that our countries and our continent can, and will, be free of the death and devastation from malaria.
"This was a moment to determine a legacy of not one country, but a legacy of eight nations, to put aside our differences and pioneer a regional partnership leading to the transformation of lives of generations to come."