ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA- 1 February 2016 – The African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) gathered Saturday at the 26th African Union Summit to celebrate unprecedented progress against malaria in Africa.
Thirty-four Heads of State and Delegation joined the annual meeting, which was chaired by H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the current chair of ALMA. During the meeting, the incoming Chairperson of the African Union, H.E. Idriss Déby President of Chad was appointed to take over as the next chair of ALMA.
The leaders reiterated their commitment to malaria elimination 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 H.E. Idriss Déby, Chairperson of the African Union and President of Chad.
Since 2000, malaria mortality rates in Africa have fallen by 66 percent overall and 71 percent among children under 5.
“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,” said Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. “This is what it looks like when we work together – this is how we build a better future for Africa.”
At the meeting, ALMA presented its annual Awards for Excellence to 13 African countries that have shown commitment, innovation and progress in the fight against malaria.
The 2016 ALMA Awards for Excellence were given to:
Botswana, Cape Verde, Eritrea, Namibia, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, South Africa, and Swaziland for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)[i] target for malaria
Rwanda, Senegal and Liberia for Performance in Malaria Control between 2011 and 2015
Mali, Guinea and Comoros for being the Most Improved in Malaria Control between 2011 and 2015
“These are impressive achievements,” said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “They are a result of your vision of a malaria-free world.”
Many African leaders have made fighting malaria a key focus over the past several years, assisted by commitments from donors such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the United States’ President’s Malaria Initiative, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, and the French government.
But the job is not finished. There were 188 million case of malaria in Africa last year. An African child still dies every two minutes from the disease.
“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,” said H.E. Prime Minister Dessalegn. We must therefore continue to invest in malaria interventions in order to reduce malaria cases and deaths.”
The leaders committed to achieving and sustaining high levels of coverage with effective interventions. They committed to increasing domestic public and private funding. They acknowledged the recent enhanced commitments by the U.K. and U.S. governments, and called for similar commitments from other partners, including supporting the replenishment of the Global Fund.
The leaders reviewed the ALMA Scorecard for Accountability and Action and the ALMA 2030 Scorecard Towards Malaria Elimination. Building on these, leaders committed to develop their own national malaria control and elimination scorecards with an accountability and action mechanism.
Founded in 2009, the African Leaders Malaria Alliance is a ground-breaking coalition of 49 African heads of state and government working across country and regional borders to achieve a malaria-free Africa by 2030.
The ALMA Awards for Excellence celebrate exemplary leadership in policy, impact and implementation in the fight against malaria. The awards are chosen by an independent awards selection committee comprised of leaders and experts in the areas of health and science. For more information, visit www.alma2030.org.
Media contact details:
Allan Kamau, Portland Communications
Fixed line: +44 (0) 20 7554 1741
Ethiopia mobile: +251 (0) 929228408
Links and directory:
Additional press information about ALMA Awards
About ALMA Factsheet
Malaria in Africa Factsheet
Journalists wishing to interview the leadership of the AU Commission during the Summit should submit their requests to Mrs Esther AzaaTankou, Ag. Director of Information and Communication of the AUC, via E-mail: YambouE@africa-union.org / email@example.com
For further information:
Learn more at: http://www.au.int
Directorate of Information and Communication
Directorate of Information and Communication | Information and Communication | African Union Commission
Addis Ababa | Ethiopia