Malaria Elimination King Mswati hails progress in Africa

Mswati made the commendation in a statement signed by the Account Manager, Mr Richard King, and made available to the NAN.

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The new Chair of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), King Mswati III of the Kingdom of Swaziland, has lauded the efforts of fellow Africans and partners in the progress toward malaria elimination in the continent.

Mswati made the commendation in a statement signed by the Account Manager, Mr Richard King, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on the occasion of “World Malaria Day with the theme ‘End Malaria for Good’’.

“On this World Malaria Day, we are closer than ever to realising a world free of malaria. Innovation in health and human development has driven unprecedented progress on this continent."

“The theme reminds us that we must build on the progress we have made. We must redouble our efforts to protect these fragile gains. There is no work more important than this.”

He said Swaziland was one of six African countries on track to eliminate malaria by 2020, 10 years ahead of the continent-wide target. Mswati said the World Health Organisation (WHO) also projected that Algeria, Botswana, Cabo Verde, Comoros and South Africa could achieve this milestone before the end of the decade.

“The Kingdom of Swaziland has made significant progress in scaling-up malaria control interventions, which has led to a significant reduction in its malaria burden."

“The WHO estimates that between 2010 and 2015, Swaziland lowered malaria incidence and mortality by more than 40 per cent."

“Swaziland was the first country in Africa to introduce a national ALMA malaria elimination scorecard. The scorecard helps countries track accountability and action on malaria,’’ he said.

The Executive Secretary of ALMA, Joy Phumaphi, applauded the king’s leadership on this vital mission to free the continent of Malaria.

She added that Swaziland was a leader in the fight against malaria in Africa, heavily investing its own domestic resources.

She said the tremendous impact of their efforts provided a powerful model for the entire continent.

“Malaria remains a critical threat in Africa."

“The continent still bears the highest global malaria burden. In 2015, 195 million of the 212 million new malaria cases and 394,000 of the world’s 429,000 malaria-related deaths were in Africa."

“Since 2000, malaria mortality rates across the continent have fallen by 62 per cent in all age groups and by 69 per cent among children under five."

“The increase in people at risk of malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa sleeping under insecticide-treated nets or protected by indoor residual spraying coupled with diagnostic testing of children."

“Also treatment of pregnant women has contributed to significantly lowering incidence and mortality in Africa,’’ Phumaphi said.

She said the achievements came at a time when African countries were providing more domestic funding to fight malaria.

Swaziland is also chair of the Southern African Development Community Malaria Elimination 8 (SADC E8).

This regional initiative leverages collective effort on malaria across Southern African borders.

The ALMA was founded in 2009.

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 African Union member countries are members of ALMA.

The ALMA Scorecard for Accountability and Action, and the ALMA 2030 Scorecard towards Malaria Elimination are important tools which track progress and drive action.

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