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Malaria Mortality Rate Drops 66% In Africa 

By Nformi Sonde Kinsai

The death rate from malaria infections in Africa has dropped by an overall 66 percent and 71 percent among children under five since 2000, says a press release from Malaria No More – an NGO combating malaria on the continent.

The release further states: “Many African leaders have made fighting malaria a key focus over the past several years, assisted by donors such as the Global Fund, the United States’ President’s Malaria Initiative, the UK Department for International Development and the French Government. But the job is not finished. There were 188 million cases of malaria in Africa last year. An African child still dies every two minutes from the disease.”

This notable drop in malaria mortality rate was appraised by 34 African heads of state in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on January 30, 2016.

The leaders met under the African Leaders Malaria Alliance, ALMA, at the 26th African Union Summit to celebrate unprecedented progress against the number-one killer disease in Africa.
The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Dessalegn, chaired the meeting.

The African leaders reiterated their commitment to the elimination of malaria on the continent by 2030.
“We have an exceptionally strong platform from which we can now work to finally eliminate malaria from the continent once and for all,” said Chadian President Idriss Déby, who took over from Dessalegn as the new ALMA Chair.

“The African Leaders Malaria Alliance is a model for what we can do when we commit ourselves to a collective goal. Our progress is undeniable. This is what it looks like when we work together – this is how we build a better future for Africa,” Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, stated.

At the meeting, 13 African countries received the ALMA annual Awards of Excellence for demonstrating commitment, innovation and progress in the fight against malaria – Botswana, Cape Verde, Eritrea, Namibia, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, South Africa and Swaziland, for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target for malaria.

Meanwhile, Rwanda, Senegal and Liberia were honoured for performance in malaria control between 2011 and 2015. Mali, Guinea and Comoros received the award for witnessing improvements in malaria control between 2011 and 2015.

“These are impressive achievements. They are a result of your vision of a malaria-free world,” the .N Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, is quoted to have declared.

“Despite the remarkable achievements, we should not lose sight that malaria remains a disease of poverty and a major public health concern particularly in Africa. We must, therefore, continue to invest in malaria interventions in order to reduce malaria cases and deaths,” Dessalegn stated.

The leaders committed to achieving and sustaining high levels of coverage with effective interventions, and increasing domestic public and private funding. They acknowledged the recent enhanced commitments by the UK and US Governments and called for similar commitments from other partners, including supporting the replenishment of the Global Fund.

Founded in 2009, ALMA is a groundbreaking coalition of 49 African Heads of State and Government working across country and regional borders to achieve a malaria-free Africa by 2030.