New report published highlights the ongoing challenges in the fight against malaria
The goal is to eliminate malaria in Africa by 2030
His Excellency, President Umaro Sissoco Embaló of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, Chair of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance, presented the African Union Malaria Progress Report 2022 at the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa on 18 February.
The report highlights the ongoing challenges in the fight against malaria in Africa and the urgent need for strong political commitment and leadership, robust partnership, and increased investments from the current 27 member states to reach the goal of eliminating malaria in Africa by 2030.
Since 2000, malaria incidence and mortality have decreased by 37 per cent and 59 per cent respectively. This equates to 1.5 billion malaria cases and 10.6 million deaths that have been averted over the past two decades in Africa.
However, according to the report, progress against malaria remains stalled for the last few years. Most member states are off-track to achieving the African Union's bold and ambitious targets to defeat malaria by 2030. In 2021, Africa continued to bear the highest malaria burden, with 96 per cent of all malaria cases (238 million cases) and 98 per cent of all malaria deaths (603,877 deaths) occurring in Africa in 2021. Nearly 77 per cent of malaria deaths were among children under 5.
Embaló said: “We must redouble our efforts to achieve the goal of eliminating malaria in Africa by 2030. Sustained political will, increased resources, and a shared sense of urgency are needed to make this goal a reality.”
Despite the global community's pledge of US$15.7 billion to replenish The Global Fund, the report expresses concern that this fell short of the replenishment's US$18 billion target.
Existing and pledged resources are insufficient to fully support malaria programmes, especially as member states confront drug and insecticide resistance, low malaria intervention coverage, global inflation, supply chain disruptions, and other economic shocks.
Increased domestic resources with strong partnerships are urgently required to maintain lifesaving malaria programmes and avert a resurgence in cases.