Amid COVID-19, the Fight Against Malaria Should not Falter
Guest Blog Post from our friends at GFAN Africa.
GFAN Africa joined in efforts to urge for the need to end malaria by organizing activities to mark World Malaria Day 2021, informed by this year’s theme Zero Malaria – drawn the line against malaria. On 22 April, Vuka an online show organized by WACI Health and hosted by Olayide Akanni invited Farhan Yusuf a pharmacist and youth leader for health to share his thoughts on progress made towards ending malaria and what actions should be taken to eliminate the disease. Farhan appreciated that immense efforts in resource allocation, research and community engagement have been made over the years that have contributed to progress towards ending malaria.
He urged Governments to invest more resources to defeat malaria and emphasized that the resources should be used prudently. “There is need to focus on community mobilization to end malaria because communities must respond to the proposed solutions.” He added. He observed that malaria elimination is possible, Algeria has done it, several other countries are about to achieve this, it can be done in all of Africa as he emphasized that conversations on eliminating malaria should go on after world malaria day.
GFAN Africa coordinated the publication of newspaper articles in several countries to mark World Malaria Day. Demonstrating immense progress in fighting malaria in Ghana, Mrs Cecilia Senoo in her article published in three different newspapers shared data showing that the proportion of deaths attributed to malaria per 100,000 population has decreased from 10.8/100,000 in 2012 to 1.1/100,000 in 2019. She emphasized that ending malaria is within reach in Ghana.
Malaria programmes should be integrated with broader efforts to strengthen health systems and must be anchored on established community health systems #UniteToFight #WorldMalariaDay @endmalaria @MalariaNoMore @resultsuk @TargetMalaria @acb4gf @GlobalFund @GFAdvocates @AfricaCDC pic.twitter.com/jcYt5Mn1UC— GFAN Africa (@GFAN_Africa) April 22, 2021
In Kenya James Kamau acknowledged that there is political will to end malaria in Kenya. The Kenya Malaria Council was formed in February 2021 to mobilize local resources for malaria control and elimination. In his article, he urged that amid the COVID-19 pandemic, efforts to defeat malaria should not falter. In an article published in Malawi by Maziko Matemba, he acknowledged the immense role of the Global Fund in malaria elimination. The Global Fund provides 56 percent of all international financing for malaria. The need to end malaria by building stronger health systems was emphasized by Itai Rusike who published a newspaper article on ending malaria in Zimbabwe.
GFAN Africa shared messages on social media acknowledging the Global Fund’s huge contribution towards malaria elimination and emphasizing the need to invest more resources to protect everyone who is at risk of the disease and to safeguard the huge strides made to end the disease.