The African Media and Malaria Research Network (AMMREN) has called for increase in
investment and innovation to meet the World Health Organisation (WHO) target of at least 90 per cent reduction in malaria case incidence, mortality rates and elimination in 35 countries by 2030.
The Executive Secretary of AMMREN, Dr. Charity Binka in a statement, said with just eight years left, the target to eliminate malaria appears impossible, but doable.
While it admitted that the public health landscape has changed with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic that took the world by storm resulting in the diversion of huge resources to contain its spread, AMMREN, however cautioned that this should not prevent governments from keeping an eye on the malaria elimination agenda to ensure that the disease is not put on the back burner.
Similarly, AMMREN noted that the sudden outbreak of other diseases with public health importance have the potential of diverting needed funds and attention away from existing diseases such as malaria.
This has the potential of eroding the gains made over the years in malaria control.
According to Dr. Binka, “The last few years have witnessed sudden pockets of diseases with public health importance, such as the Ebola and the Marburg virus diseases. With such trends of emerging disease outbreaks of other important infectious diseases, it is important that old diseases such as malaria are not left to cause havoc among vulnerable groups such as children and pregnant women.”
AMMREN disclosed these in a statement to
Issued to mark the 2022 World Malaria Day, which was another opportunity for the global community to adopt innovative approaches to end malaria.
The theme for the 2022 World Malaria Day is
‘Advance Equity. Build Resilience. End Malaria’. It is a reminder that there is the need for a united action to speed up the pace of progress to kick out malaria from Africa and the rest of the world.
In addition, AMMREN has called for a sustained action by all stakeholders to end malaria.
“There should be promotion of preventive and curative tools that are available such as the distribution of long-lasting insecticide nets, indoor residual spraying, larval source management, malaria vaccine, intermittent preventive treatment, seasonal malaria chemoprevention and case management,” stated AMMREN.
The non-government organisation (NGO) also noted the importance of the role of the media for strategic advocacy on malaria. It therefore called on the media to tell the malaria story and hold governments accountable to the people. “The media must also shift focus on excessive news on politics and rather pay more attention to development issues such as malaria prevention.”
Figures from the RBM Partnership To End Malaria show that malaria accounts for one in 12 global
deaths in children under five, with the WHO African Region accounting for 96 per cent of global malaria
deaths and 95 per cent of cases.
In 2020, there were 627,000 malaria deaths globally, a 12 per cent increase
over 2019’s 558,000.
The RBM said there is the need to communicate the urgency of the situation and the urgent need
for action and targeted scale up of existing and new tools, such as the RTS,S vaccine, data-led
strategies and investment in transformative tools.
The global body has said the malaria fight is at a precarious juncture with the global malaria burden
much higher than previously estimated and half the world’s population still at risk of the disease.