CategoriesGFAN Africa YL4H

Amid COVID-19, the Fight Against Malaria Should not Falter

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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. Watch the Vuka show here

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.

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. Some of the social media messages are here, here and here. Please retweet.

CategoriesGFAN Africa

World Malaria Day 2021- Ending Malaria is Within Reach in Ghana

World Malaria Day falls on April 25, 2021. The theme for this year is: Zero Malaria – Draw the Line against Malaria. This is the right time to draw the line against malaria by taking action to end the disease at this time when COVID-19 has made the fight harder. On this day, let’s highlight and appreciate the efforts that have been made over the years to control malaria and celebrate the gains so far.

Since 2000, the world has made historic progress against malaria, saving millions of lives. According to the World Health Organization’s world malaria report 2020, 7.6 million malaria-related deaths have been averted since 2000. This is a huge success resulting from concerted efforts by Governments, donors, and multilateral institutions such as the Global Fund partnership, which provides 56% of all international financing for malaria, and has invested more than US$13.5 billion in malaria control programs since the year 2002.

In Ghana, data suggests 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.

Notwithstanding, half of the world still lives at risk of malaria. Ghana remains part of the top countries in the world which contributes to the global malaria burden.  Globally, 409,000 people died from the disease in 2019. An estimated two-thirds of these deaths are among children under the age of five. Every two minutes, a child dies from malaria. These statistics should make us restless, especially because malaria is a preventable and treatable disease.

As malaria continues to cause needless deaths, COVID-19 has complicated the fight to end malaria. A new report by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria shows that in 2020, COVID-19 massively disrupted health systems and health service delivery for malaria in low- and middle-income countries in Africa.  Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions related to the response caused disruptions to essential malaria services. Initial messaging that aimed to reduce coronavirus transmission advised the public to stay at home if they had a fever, potentially disrupting treatment for those who may have had malaria and needed treatment. The lockdowns slowed down malaria prevention programmes such as the distribution of mosquito nets. This disruption to malaria prevention and treatment is causing increase in deaths from the disease and potentially will lead to a surge in deaths in subsequent years. Children and pregnant women particularly remain at great risk.

The fight against malaria must remain a priorityIt is time for rigorous efforts to protect everyone who is at risk of malaria and to guard the tremendous strides made in fighting the disease. This calls for high impact investments in education, prevention, diagnosis and treatment, including research and development and building stronger health systems.  To achieve this, there is need for stronger political leadership, more funding including domestic resource mobilization and increased innovation. Community engagement, robust partnerships with private sector, foundations, academia, Government, civil society, for joint planning, execution, transparency and accountability will play an important role in malaria elimination.

Continuing to invest in research & development, scaling up country-driven solutions as well as innovations such as real-time data and next-generation nets will help us stay ahead of the mosquito and its killer tactics. Social and gender norms that present barriers to accessing healthcare especially among poor and vulnerable women and girls who are often primary caregivers should be addressed.  These actions to beat malaria must strongly engage communities and the youth.

The commendable efforts to beat COVID-19 must not be at the expense of accelerating progress against malaria. Malaria investments can be leveraged to fight COVID-19 and emerging diseases by promoting and facilitating safe and timely treatment of fever and ensuring that health workers are adequately protected and equipped.

Critically, malaria programmes must be integrated with broader efforts to build stronger systems for health, which are anchored on established community health systems. Further, ending endemic diseases such as malaria will contribute to strengthening fragile health systems and beating pandemics like COVID-19 because ending malaria will reduce the burden on health systems and increase capacity to detect, prevent, and respond to pandemics.

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Despite the unprecedented challenges presented by COVID-19, malaria elimination remains a viable goal that will contribute to achieving universal healthcare coverage so that everybody has access to efficient, effective and affordable healthcare wherever they are and whenever they need it.

Malaria elimination is possible. Zero malaria is within reach.

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CategoriesGFAN Africa

World Malaria Day 2021—Ending Malaria is within reach in Ghana

World Malaria Day falls on April 25, 2021. The theme for this year is: Zero Malaria – Draw the Line against Malaria. This is the right time to draw the line against malaria by taking action to end the disease at this time when COVID-19 has made the fight harder.

On this day, let’s highlight and appreciate the efforts that have been made over the years to control malaria and celebrate the gains so far.

Since 2000, the world has made historic progress against malaria, saving millions of lives. According to the World Health Organization’s world malaria report 2020, 7.6 million malaria-related deaths have been averted since 2000. This is a huge success resulting from concerted efforts by Governments, donors, and multilateral institutions such as the Global Fund partnership, which provides 56% of all international financing for malaria, and has invested more than US$13.5 billion in malaria control programs since the year 2002.

In Ghana, data suggests 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.

Notwithstanding, half of the world still lives at risk of malaria. Ghana remains part of the top countries in the world which contributes to the global malaria burden. Globally, 409,000 people died from the disease in 2019. An estimated two thirds of these deaths are among children under the age of five. Every two minutes, a child dies from malaria. These statistics should make us restless, especially because malaria is a preventable and treatable disease.

As malaria continues to cause needless deaths, COVID-19 has complicated the fight to end malaria. A new report by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria shows that in 2020, COVID-19 massively disrupted health systems and health service delivery for malaria in low- and middle-income countries in Africa. Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions related to the response caused disruptions to essential malaria services. Initial messaging that aimed to reduce coronavirus transmission advised the public to stay at home if they had fever, potentially disrupting treatment for those who may have had malaria and needed treatment. The lock downs slowed down malaria prevention programmes such as the distribution of mosquito nets. This disruption to malaria prevention and treatment is causing increase in deaths from the disease and potentially will lead to a surge in deaths in subsequent years. Children and pregnant women particularly remain at great risk.

The fight against malaria must remain a priorityIt is time for rigorous efforts to protect everyone who is at risk of malaria and to guard the tremendous strides made in fighting the disease. This calls for high impact investments in education, prevention, diagnosis and treatment, including research and development and building stronger health systems. To achieve this, there is need for stronger political leadership, more funding including domestic resource mobilization and increased innovation. Community engagement, robust partnerships with private sector, foundations, academia, Government, civil society, for joint planning, execution, transparency and accountability will play an important role in malaria elimination.

Continuing to invest in research & development, scaling up country-driven solutions as well as innovations such as real-time data and next generation nets will help us stay ahead of the mosquito and its killer tactics. Social and gender norms that present barriers to accessing healthcare especially among poor and vulnerable women and girls who are often primary caregivers should be addressed. These actions to beat malaria must strongly engage communities and the youth.

The commendable efforts to beat COVID-19 must not be at the expense of accelerating progress against malaria. Malaria investments can be leveraged to fight COVID-19 and emerging diseases by promoting and facilitating safe and timely treatment of fever and ensuring that health workers are adequately protected and equipped.

Critically, malaria programmes must be integrated with broader efforts to build stronger systems for health, which are anchored on established community health systems. Further, ending endemic diseases such as malaria will contribute to strengthening fragile health systems and beating pandemics like COVID-19 because ending malaria will reduce the burden on health systems and increase capacity to detect, prevent, and respond to pandemics.

Despite the unprecedented challenges presented by COVID-19, malaria elimination remains a viable goal that will contribute to achieving universal healthcare coverage so that everybody has access to efficient, effective and affordable healthcare wherever they are and whenever they need it.

Malaria elimination is possible. Zero malaria is within reach.

By Mrs. Cecilia Senoo,

Executive Director, Hope for Future Generations Ghana

Focal Person, Global Fund Advocates Africa (GFAN Africa)

Developing Country NGO Delegation to the Global Fund Board (DCNGO)

CategoriesGFAN Africa

Ending malaria is possible

We mark World Malaria Day on April 25. This year’s theme was Zero Malaria—Draw the Line against Malaria.

This is the right time to take action to end the disease just when Covid-19 has made the fight harder.

On this day, we highlight and appreciate the efforts to control malaria and celebrate the gains so far.

Since 2000, the world has made historic progress against malaria, saving millions of lives. The World Health Organisation (WHO) World Malaria Report of 2020 shows that 7.6 million malaria-related deaths have been averted since 2000.

Malaria is endemic in more than 95 percent of Malawi and it remains one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality across all age groups.

The National Malaria Control Programme has scaled up prevention, treatment and care services also targeting pregnant women by distributing insecticide-treated nets and residual spray in some districts like in Balaka, Mangochi and Nkhata Bay.

Progress is promising. Between 2006 and 2015, the mortality rate for children aged under five declined to about 64 deaths per 1 000 live births.

This success results from concerted efforts by governments, donors, and multilateral institutions such as the Global Fund, which provides 56 percent of all international financing for malaria. The fund has invested more than $13.5 billion in malaria control programmes since the year 2002.

As malaria continues to cause needless deaths, Covid-19 has complicated the fight to end the disease. The pandemic and restrictions have disrupted essential malaria services.

Initial messaging to reduce coronavirus transmission advised the public to stay at home if they had fever, potentially disrupting treatment for those who may have had malaria. The lockdowns slowed down malaria prevention programmes such as the distribution of mosquito nets.

This disruption to malaria prevention and treatment is causing increase in deaths from the disease and potentially will lead to a surge in deaths in subsequent years. Children and pregnant women particularly remain at great risk.

The fight against malaria must remain a priority. It is time for rigorous efforts to protect everyone who is at risk of malaria and to guard the tremendous strides made in fighting the disease.

This calls for high-impact investments in education, prevention, diagnosis and treatment, including research and development and building stronger health systems. To achieve this, there is need for stronger political leadership, more funding and increased innovation.

Community engagement and robust partnerships with private sector, foundations, academia, government, civil society, for joint planning, execution and accountabilities will play an important role in malaria elimination.

Continuing to invest in research and scaling up country-driven innovations such as real-time data and next generation nets will help us stay ahead of the mosquitoes’ killer tactics.

Social and gender norms that present barriers to accessing healthcare, especially among poor and vulnerable women who are often primary caregivers, should be addressed. These actions to beat malaria must strongly engage communities and the youth.

The efforts to beat Covid-19 must not come at the expense of accelerating progress against malaria. Malaria investments can be leveraged to fight Covid-19 and emerging diseases by promoting and facilitating safe and timely treatment of fever and ensuring that health workers are adequately protected and equipped.

Critically, malaria programmes must be integrated with broader efforts to build stronger health systems for health, which are anchored on established community health systems.

Ending endemic diseases such as malaria will contribute to strengthening fragile health systems and beating pandemics because it will reduce the burden on health systems and increase capacity to detect, prevent and respond to pandemics.

Despite the unprecedented challenges presented by Covid-19, malaria elimination remains a viable goal that will contribute to achieving universal healthcare coverage so that everybody has access to efficient, effective and affordable healthcare wherever they are and whenever they need it.

Malaria elimination is possible. Zero malaria is within reach.

CategoriesGFAN Africa

World Malaria Day 2021- Ending Malaria is Within Reach

Itai Rusike Features Correspondent

Today, Zimbabwe joins the world in commemorating the World Malaria Day 2021. The theme for this year is Zero Malaria – Draw the Line against Malaria.

We draw the line against malaria by taking action to end the disease at this time when COVID-19 has made the fight to end malaria harder. On this day, we highlight and appreciate efforts that have been made over the years to control malaria and celebrate the gains made to date.Since 2000, the world has made historic progress against malaria saving millions of lives.

According to the World Health Organization’s world malaria report 2020, 7.6 million malaria-related deaths have been averted since 2000. This is a huge success resulting from concerted efforts by Governments, partners and multilateral institutions such as the Global Fund partnership, which provides 56 percent of all international financing for malaria, and has invested more than US$13.5 billion in malaria control programs since the year 2002.Half of the world still lives at risk of malaria. 409,000 people died from the disease in 2019. Anestimated two thirds of these deaths are among children under the age of five.

Every two minutes,a child dies from malaria. These statistics should make us restless, especially because malaria isa preventable and treatable disease.As malaria continued to fight back and cause needless deaths, COVID-19 struck, complicating the efforts to end malaria. The COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions related to the response caused disruptions to essential malaria services. Initial messaging that targeted to reduce coronavirus transmission advised the public to stay at home if they had fever, potentially disrupting treatment for those who may have had malaria and needed treatment.

The lock down also slowed down malaria prevention programmes such as the distribution of mosquito nets. This disruption to malariaprevention and treatment will increase deaths from the disease and potentially lead to a surge indeaths in subsequent years. Children and pregnant women particularly remain at great risk.The fight against malaria must remain a priority to protect the progress made to defeat the disease. This calls for high impact investments in education, prevention, diagnosis and treatment,including research and development.

Key to fighting malaria is building stronger health systems, which have been weakened further by the onset of COVID-19. To achieve this, there is need for stronger political leadership, more funding and increased innovation. Community engagement, robust partnerships with private sector, foundations, academia, Government, civil society, for mutual planning, execution and accountabilities. There is need for a cross cutting approach that unites human, animal and environmental health interventions to achieve desired public health outcomes. This is because some human diseases are shared with animals, other diseases such as malaria are related to the environment while other emerging diseases such as COVID-19 are associated with wildlife.

Continuing to invest in research and development and scaling up country-driven solutions as well asinnovations such as real-time data and next generation nets will help us stay ahead of the mosquito and its killer tactics. Social and gender norms that present barriers to access to healthcare especially among women from poor and vulnerable households who are often primary caregivers should be addressed. These actions to beat malaria must strongly engage communities and the youth including in aspects of advocacy through participatory approaches such as peer-to-peer initiatives. Communities must be at the heart of the malaria response.In the face of COVID-19, it is time for rigorous efforts to protect everyone who is at risk of malaria and to guard the tremendous strides made in fighting the disease.

There is a lot of focus to beat COVID-19 but this must not be at the expense of accelerating progress against malaria. Malaria investments can be leveraged to fight COVID-19 and emerging diseases by promoting and facilitating safe and timely treatment of fever and ensuring that health workers are adequately protected and equipped.Critically, malaria programmes must be integrated with broader efforts to build stronger systems for health, which are anchored on established community health systems.

Further, ending endemic diseases such as malaria will contribute to strengthening fragile health systems and beating pandemics like COVID-19 because ending malaria will reduce the burden on health systems and increase capacity to detect, prevent, and respond to pandemics.Despite the added challenges by COVID-19, malaria elimination remains a viable goal towards achieving universal healthcare coverage so that every Zimbabwean has access to efficient,effective and affordable healthcare wherever they are and whenever they need it without facing

financial difficulties.Malaria elimination is possible. Zero malaria is within reach.• Itai Rusike is the Community Working Group on Health (CWGH) Executive Director.• The Community Working Group on Health (CWGH) is a network of national membership based civil society and community based organisations who aim to collectively enhance community participation in health in Zimbabwe.

CategoriesGFAN Africa

Even amid Covid-19 pandemic, war against malaria should not falter

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World Malaria Day will be celebrated on April 25. This years theme is ‘Zero malaria – draw the line against malaria’. This is the right time to draw the line against malaria by taking action to end the disease, especially now that Covid-19 has made the fight harder. On this day, we highlight and appreciate the efforts that have been made over the years to control malaria and celebrate the gains so far. According to the World Health Organization’s World Malaria Report 2020, 7.6 million malaria-related deaths have been averted since 2000. The Ministry of Health has shown commitment towards eliminating malaria.

In February this year, the Malaria Council was formed to mobilize local resources for malaria control and elimination in Kenya.  There has been intense work in vector control through the distribution of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets, indoor residual spraying, larval source management, prevention of malaria in pregnancy; malaria diagnosis, and treatment; monitoring, evaluation, and research as well as work to encourage behavior change.

The Ministry of Health is implementing the Kenya Malaria Strategy 2019 – 2023 that aims to protect all Kenyans through access to malaria preventive interventions, to manage all suspected malaria cases and to establish systems for malaria elimination in targeted counties.

Covid-19 has complicated the fight to end malaria by causing disruptions to essential malaria services. Initial messaging that aimed to reduce coronavirus transmission advised the public to stay at home if they had fever, potentially disrupting treatment for those who may have had malaria and needed treatment. Read more…

CategoriesBlog WACI Health News

AU-EU Strategy – Joint Civil Society Paper On Health Ahead Of The Leaders’ Summit

On 24 February, WACI Wealth mobilized members of the Africa Civil Society Platform for Health (CISPHA) for a discussion on the AU -EU Strategy on the health pillar. CISPHA is working to increase and sustain advocacy to hold AU member states accountable especially on the outcomes of the Africa Leaders Meeting on Health, the AU-EU relations and TICAD. CISPHA’s engagement is primarily in participation in the AU technical working group and the communications and advocacy committee of AIDS Watch Africa (AWA).

The Joint AU-EU Strategy is the first long-term framework for relations between the AU and EU. It sets out the intention of both continents to move beyond a donor/recipient relationship towards long-term cooperation on jointly identified mutual and complementary interests. The conversations organized by WACI Health in collaboration with GHA France focused on health. Broadly, the framework for relations focuses on peace and stability; migration; democracy and good governance; economic development; human development (which includes health, education and nutrition), and climate change.

There are plans to have an EU AU leaders’ summit later. In readiness for the summit, European and African civil societies are currently working on a joint paper on the urgent long-term health needs for Africa and how COVID-19 has made these needs even more critical. The meaningful inclusion of civil society in the AU-EU strategy is important as it brings forth the voices of communities.

The joint civil society paper will highlight the health concerns of Africa and will focus on the health pillar to inform the roadmap towards achieving the desired long-term health outcomes. The need to include in the joint paper health systems strengthening is critical at a time when COVID-19 has devastated the already fragile health systems. There was an additional observation that community health systems are not optimized to support the pandemic. Rural communities, key populations and urban poor are still not adequately reached due to weak community health systems.

Other key considerations for inclusion in the joint paper are human resources for health, skills for health personnel, adequate remuneration and personal protection of personnel as well as health infrastructure. The needs of adolescent girls and young women who are disproportionately affected and exposed to challenges such as HIV will be included in the joint paper. Read more…..

CategoriesGFAN Africa

GFAN Africa Applauds United States Contribution of US$3.5 Billion to the Global Fund to Fight COVID-19

Thank you US

On 1 April, GFAN Africa facilitated a regional day of action to extend sincere gratitude  to the United States, the Biden-Harris Administration, and the U.S. Congress led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for the $3.5 billion emergency funding commitment they secured for the efforts of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in low- and middle-income countries.

These resources will support low and middle-income countries to rapidly expand their testing capacity and ensure health care workers are adequately protected with personal protective equipment (PPE). The investment will support countries to contain the virus and its variants, ensure those infected have access to care and treatment (including adequate oxygen supplies) and prepare for successful vaccine delivery. It will save many lives, reduce suffering and help economies to reopen safely.

GFAN Africa’s in country partners joined in sending this thank you letter to USAID missions in 20 African countries; USAID mission to the African Union; and USAID Africa Bureau. Our partners- Impact Santé Afrique- for outreach in Francophone Africa also translated the letter into French. The 20 countries activated in this ‘Thank You’ outreach are: South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Eswatini, Cameroon, Madagascar, Benin, DRC, Senegal, Cote D’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Rwanda and Uganda.

CategoriesGFAN Africa

World TB Day 2021 – The clock is ticking, it’s time to rise up now to end TB

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GFAN Africa jointly with Run4TB mobilized in-country partners for letter writing, a jam session, social media and print media activities to mark World TB Day 2021. A letter addressed to Ministers for Health asked the Ministers to engage communities in planning and implementing strong, integrated TB and COVID-19 mitigation and response measures; to review, update and implement TB policies by the end of 2022 to align with the latest WHO and internationally recognized guidelines; and to participate in the next step up for TB survey on TB policies. The letter further asked the Ministers to lead the implementation of the UN political declaration on TB by December 2022 to outline progress, next steps and support the UN Secretary General’s proposal to hold a follow up High-level meeting on TB in 2023.

The letter was sent to Ministers for Health in Eswatini, Zambia, Kenya, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Malawi. In Nigeria, a goodwill message with excerpts from the Letter to the Minister for Health was presented at a press briefing organized by the Honorable Minister for Health to mark World TB Day.

Excerpts from the letter were published in newspapers in Ghana, Malawi, Eswatini and Zimbabwe by eight media houses.

Further, the letter was sent to the Commissioner and the Head of Division for Health at the Africa Union Commission urging their office to encourage countries to adopt the recommendations in the Step for TB and the deadly divide reports and to meet their UNHLM commitments and targets.

A one hour live jam session was part of the World TB Day activities. A live band sang songs on ending TB with interludes of discussions on the urgent need to end TB with viewers sending their comments in real time. During the session, Naomi Wanjiru a GFAN speaker urged that TB should not be forgotten amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is a link to the jam session.

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