WINDHOEK – More than 13,000 people died of malaria in southern Africa last year, Namibia Press Agency (NAMPA) reported.
These include 43 people who died of malaria in Namibia, five each in Botswana and Swaziland, 136 in South Africa, 7,999 in Angola, 2,467 in Mozambique, 2,397 in Zambia and 462 in Zimbabwe, according to statistics revealed by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Malaria Elimination Eight (E8) Organisation here on Friday.
In light of this, the SADC E8 Organisation held a regional strategic planning meeting to review their implementation plans and eventually adopt a clear roadmap on mitigating the impact of the disease across the region.
Speaking in his capacity as Ambassador of E8 during the meeting, former Minister of Health and Social Services Richard Kamwi revealed that they have secured close to US$18 million from the Global Fund to fight malaria.
The funds, Kamwi said, will be used to develop programmes to support member states in their efforts to mitigate the spread and elimination of the disease.
The programmes mainly include malaria testing centres and treatment points for migrant populations in an effort to reduce cross-border transmission of the disease in southern Africa.
“Rolling out this project will require strong attention to detail on supply chain management, monitoring and evaluation, procurement and contracting, as well as demand generation in order to avoid missing targets and deadlines,” said Kamwi.
The Global Fund is one of the biggest international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that assist developing nations in combating the spread of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and malaria.
Kamwi added that the successful implementation of the E8 initiative will be crucial to secure future collaborations in various aspects of development with national, regional and international partners.
“Our concept of eight countries coming together to align priorities and putting the collective ahead of the individual is a novel approach. As the E8 we recognise that no individual country can do it alone,” he added.
The partnership was spearheaded by the Africa Malaria Elimination Campaign adopted during the third session of the African Union (AU) Conference of Ministers of Health in 2007 to transition eligible countries from malaria control to elimination.
Subsequently, the concept of the E8 was proposed in SADC as a platform for deliberations in March 2009 in Windhoek on a strategy for a regional approach to malaria elimination.
E8 programme directors from all eight states including health professionals and permanent secretaries attended the meeting. – BERNAMA