By Haruna Gimba
The African Union says the continent continues to bear the biggest burden of malaria with 90 per cent of cases in 2015 estimated at 212 million worldwide occurring in Africa.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by Commissioner for Social Affairs, African Union Commission, Mrs. Amira Elfadil Mohamed Elfadil, to commemorate World Malaria Day slated for April 26. She said it is 17 years since African Heads of State and Government committed to key actions to end malaria as a public health threat in the Abuja Declaration on Roll Back Malaria on 25 April 2000.
The commissioner said the African leaders had declared 25 April as Malaria Day to be commemorated annually for sustained advocacy and ensuring that the disease remains high on the policy and political agenda. “Today the African Union commemorates this day with the rest of the international community at a critical juncture when significant progress has been made but with the greater need more than ever before to catalyse and sustain action in the race to end Malaria for good.
The progress that we have made is a result of sustained partnerships, shared responsibility and global solidarity that has seen increased global investments in malaria. The results that we celebrate today in Africa include an estimated 23 per cent drop in new malaria cases and a 31 per cent decline in deaths from the disease between 2010 and 2015,” Mrs. Amira Elfadil said.
She said at the African Union they are mindful that Africa continues to bear the biggest burden of malaria with 90 per cent of cases in 2015 estimated at 212 million worldwide occurring in Africa. “Furthermore 92 per cent of malaria mortality in 2015 occurred in Africa. The gains against malaria are fragile as demonstrated by the recent malaria resurgence in Southern Africa,” she added.
Mrs. Amira said this requires all people from the continent to remain vigilant in order to ensure that the gains made are not reversed, “and this can happen very quickly. We need to accelerate efforts to support regions on the continent that are still at the stage of controlling malaria and those moving towards malaria elimination.”
Health Reporters report that the African leaders endorsed the Catalytic Framework to end AIDS, TB and Eliminate Malaria in Africa in Africa by 2030 in July 2016, where the strategy has set bold and ambitious targets to reduce new cases of malaria and malaria deaths by 90 per cent by 2030.