As the world commemorates the 2018 World Malaria Day, the African Media and Malaria Research Network (AMMREN), a group of African journalists and scientists engaged in advocacy against malaria has urged African countries with high burden of the disease such as Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria to do more in their effort to combat Malaria, one of the world’s oldest and deadliest diseases.
“As we all look up to these shining examples of countries that are making progress in the fight against malaria, AMMREN is urging countries such as Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya to double the malaria control efforts to ensure they join or at least get close to the ranks of countries at the elimination stages by 2020,” says a press release by AMMREN signed by its executive secretary, Charity Binka.
The 25th of April is commemorated every year as World Malaria Day, the current theme is Ready to Beat Malaria; 90% of malaria deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa with up to 70% of the deaths occurring among infant children.
AMMREN decried the fact that whereas global efforts directed at eliminating malaria have increased with statistics showing that malaria deaths have plunged by more than 60 percent since 2000, in Africa malaria cases went up in a number of countries in 2016.
The Network thus congratulated African countries such as Egypt and Morocco which have been malaria free since 2000 and acknowledges the efforts others such as Botswana, Cape Verde, and Comoros that it had been projected will end Malaria by 2020, most likely.
“AMMREN acknowledges the five African countries, namely, Botswana, Cape Verde, Comoros, South Africa and Swaziland, which have been identified as most likely to eliminate malaria by 2020. It is also gratifying that Algeria, Comoros, Madagascar, the Gambia, Senegal, and Zimbabwe have also been honoured this year by the African Leaders Malaria Alliance for leadership in scaling down malaria cases,” adds the statement.
The Network called for “more action and a robust approach including political leadership and financial investments” and “acknowledging and promoting the inclusion of alternative medicine in the campaign” against malaria.
In another statement, Dr Kesete Admasu, CEO of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria said: “Half the world is still threatened by malaria, an entirely preventable, treatable disease which takes a child’s life every two minutes. Worldwide action is needed to meet the 2030 target of reducing malaria cases by at least 90%.”
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