African health ministers commit to concerted action to end malaria deaths

Felista Tarimo,  Outreach Network for Gene Drive Research,  2024.

On March 6, health ministers from African countries with the highest burden of malaria met in Yaoundé, Cameroon, and signed a declaration committing to the fundamental principle “that no one should die from malaria.” The Declaration for Accelerated Malaria Mortality Reduction in Africa signals a unified commitment to achieving a future free from malaria deaths on the continent. Despite advances made in the fight against the disease over the last two decades, the World Health Organization (WHO) African Region still accounts for over 90% of malaria cases and deaths worldwide. The 11 signatory countries to the document, which are classified as High burden High Impact (HBHI) countries — and include the United Republic of Tanzania, where I live and work — account alone for 70% of the global malaria burden.

The declaration underscores the urgency of addressing several emerging and persistent challenges hindering progress in the fight against malaria, such as inadequate funding, growing biological threats — including insecticide and drug resistance — as well as low access to and insufficient quality of health services. It outlines a comprehensive plan built on four pillars: stronger political will, data-driven strategies, best practices in action, and multisectoral collaboration.

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