Six African countries win awards for significant progress against malaria
ADDIS ABABA, Jan. 28, 2018(AltAfrika) – Six African countries on Sunday won awards for remarkable achievements against malaria, as the continent is endeavoring towards a malaria-free Africa by 2030.
The countries were honored with the awards of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) within the framework of the 30th African Union (AU) summit at the headquarters of the pan-African bloc in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.
The criteria of this year’s award focused on the impact reducing the malaria incidence and also the progress towards meeting the 2020 milestone of World Health Organization (WHO) Malaria Global Technical Strategy (GTS).
Madagascar, Senegal, Gambia, Zimbabwe were awarded for their achievements of reducing malaria cases by more than 20 percent between 2015 and 2016. Meanwhile, Algeria and the Comoros received the award as they are on the right track to achieve the GTS milestone for 2020 and reduce malaria incidence by at least 40 percent.
African leaders have committed to eliminating malaria by 2030, as articulated in the continental development Agenda 2063.
The malaria epidemic remains Africa’s major health care challenge, the AU and WHO said on Friday on the sidelines of the AU summit.
Malaria alone is estimated to rob the continent of 12 billion U.S. dollars per year in lost productivity, investment and associated health care costs, according to Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the AU Commission.
The disease remains a global health problem with over 216 million cases and some 445,000 deaths every year, said WHO.
According to WHO’s World Malaria Report 2017, progress against malaria across Africa has been uneven, putting at risk the tremendous progress to-date and African leaders’ collective ambition to end the disease.
In 2016, 15 countries carried most of the global malaria burden, together accounting for 80 percent of all malaria cases and deaths, of which all but one are in Africa, according to WHO.