E8 secures more than N$265 million for malaria

10 Aug 2016 17:50pm
WALVIS BAY, 10 AUG (NAMPA) - The Malaria Elimination 8 (E8) initiative managed to mobilise 20 million US dollars, which is more than N.dollars 265 million, to eliminate malaria for the 2016 to 2018 period.
The funds were mobilised from the Global Fund and University of California.
E8 Ambassador and former Health Minister in Namibia Richard Kamwi made the announcement at Walvis Bay on Tuesday during the one-day E8 Secretariat Annual Strategic Planning meeting.
The E8 refers to eight southern African countries with the highest malaria transmission and deaths. They are Angola, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease caused by a parasite.
Kamwi said no lives should be lost due to malaria as there are tools and support from Government and Cabinet ministers in Africa to end malaria.
“As you know, no mainland African country has eliminated malaria to date. Mauritius - an island - is the only country that has eliminated malaria.
“We therefore have the opportunity to provide proof of concept of the fact that elimination is possible in Africa, and that regional collaboration is indeed the way to go to accelerate elimination,” he said.
Kamwi added that while progress in the last 15 years has been dramatic due to aggressive scale up of treated nets, indoor residual spraying, and more effective drug treatments, the eight countries have now “reached the end-game” to eliminate the disease.
The ambassador noted that to overcome a more sophisticated challenge of elimination, countries require advanced tools and strategies to limit parasite movement across borders, as well as more refined disease intelligence to reach the finish line.
“Significant progress has already been made in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, and both Swaziland and Botswana are poised to eliminate malaria by 2018. Since 2000, cases and deaths in the eight countries have declined by 96 per cent and 90 per cent respectively.”
Kamwi encouraged the E8 Secretariat team to remain focused as their goal is attainable.
“Many will tell us that this goal is too ambitious, right up until the moment we eliminate local transmission. Let us do what Africa is waiting for us to do, which is end malaria for good,” he encouraged.
The 2016 Malaria E8 scorecard indicates that reported malaria deaths in Namibia decreased to 43 from 84 recorded in the previous year.
It also shows that reported malaria cases in Namibia dropped from 15 543 last year to 12 012 this year.