Step up fight against malaria – Guebuza

Mozambican President Armando Guebuza, in his capacity as chairperson of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), on Thursday called for greater involvement by stakeholders across the globe in the fight against malaria, despite the progress against the disease made in recent years.

Mozambican President Armando Guebuza
Mozambican President Armando Guebuza

Speaking at the ceremony awarding ALMA’s annual excellence prize for vector control, in Addis Ababa, during the heads of state summit of the African Union, Guebuza said that over the last four years African governments and their development partners have increased their commitment to the battle against malaria.

The result, he said, was “a significant increase in resources and the production of very positive results as reported in the world malaria report for 2013”.

Nonetheless, “we need to do much more”, declared Guebuza, “and we are therefore urging more stakeholders to join this struggle”.

Seven countries were awarded ALMA prizes at the ceremony. They had achieved standards of excellence in mosquito control as defined by ALMA’s independent selection committee which includes representatives of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) movement, private business, civil society and academia.

Guebuza said that, despite the multiple challenges that the prize-winning countries had to face, they had maintaining during the year 95 per cent operational coverage of interventions to control mosquitoes through distributing bednets treated with long lasting insecticide and/or anti-mosquito spraying programmes.

The countries awarded prizes, listed in order of highest coverage, were Madagascar, Sao Tome and Principe, Namibia, Swaziland, Rwanda, Malawi and Cape Verde.

Malaria remains one of the main causes of infant mortality in Africa, but it is estimated that that interventions against the disease have saved 3.1 million lives in Africa since 2000. The mortality associated with the disease has fallen by 49 per cent.

The economic cost of malaria in Africa is estimated at 12 billion dollars a year.

Post published in: Africa News

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