Latest News From RBM

(15 May 2015, Geneva) The 28th RBM Board meeting, held on the eve of the World Health Assembly, celebrated the remarkable gains made in the fight against one of the world’s oldest and deadliest diseases since the establishment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). Most notably, the Board noted that:

  • Annual malaria deaths have decreased by 47 % in all age groups, and by 53% in children under 5 years of age. This equates to an estimated 4.3 million malaria deaths averted.

The Board, which represents a broad partnership of malaria-affected countries, donors, multilateral institutions, NGOs, private sector, research and academia, and ex-officio members, also noted that these dramatic decreases have had a substantial positive socioeconomic impact in terms of increased productivity, improved school attendance and reduced strain on health systems throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America. However, being barely half way to the global goal of a malaria-free world, the Board also acknowledged that the risk of losing these extraordinary gains is high.

In recognition of the transition to the broader-reaching Sustainable Development Goals, changes have been proposed across the RBM Partnership architecture to capitalize on the gains made to date and enable the Partnership to be responsive to the new global directions for development. These changes were agreed upon by the Board, and include:

-- A country-led consultation process to determine the role and structure of the RBM Partnership’s regional engagement mechanisms, specifically tailored to Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.

-- Establishment of a Trustees’ Council [working title] composed of senior global leaders and focused primarily on the financing and advocacy elements of malaria control and elimination, as well as offering advice to the Executive Board on the strategic direction of the Partnership.

-- A streamlined Executive Board that reflects the diversity of the Partnership.

-- A strengthened and adapted RBM Secretariat, led by an Executive Director, to deliver the core functions of RBM and support the evolving Partnerships mechanisms.

 -- Establishment of a set of Partner committees, focused on carrying out the core functions of the RBM Partnership such as country support and financing, advocacy, and resource mobilization.

The Board also endorsed a new framework guiding Action and Investment to Defeat Malaria (AIM) 2016–2030, which provides clear arguments for investing in malaria control and elimination over the next 15 years – as a complement to the new WHO Global Technical Strategy for Malaria (GTS) – adhering to the same goals and targets and providing an estimate of the financial resources required to reach between 40% and 90% additional reductions in malaria cases and deaths over this period.

Noting that continued progress in the fight against malaria is central to the attainment of the forthcoming Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the RBM Board has committed to implementing the AIM through development of a workplan that reaches beyond the traditional health sector to include environment, climate change, housing, sanitation, agriculture, education, and other sectors invested in the fight against poverty.

The RBM Board concluded with substantial optimism that with the continued commitment of the global community through the SDGs, the Financing for Development, G7 and G20 mechanisms, and under the guidance of the GTS and AIM, the gains made in malaria can be sustained and accelerated through 2030, thereby sustaining the health and productivity of some 3.2 billion people vulnerable to malaria per year.

CARN/WARN NMCP Manager’s Meeting, Cotonou, Benin 4-9 May 2015: Twenty four endemic countries from West and Central African Sub Regional Networks were clear about their technical assistance needs in a critical year for malaria control and elimination. Briefed on the new WHO Global Technical Strategy for Malaria, and the RBM Action and Investment to Defeat Malaria- both covering 2016 - 2030 – Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Congo all emphasized their need to have strong domestic resource mobilization strategies and effective advocacy coalitions to help fill their funding gaps. Liberia and Sierra Leone both requested support for planning and financing Global Fund Concept Notes, following months of mobilisation to tackle Ebola. Countries developed their technical assistance requests for the next 18 months. RBM Partners now will ensure that needed technical support is provided according to schedule.

Nine African countries on target to achieve Millennium Development Goals targets on Malaria 

Addis Ababa – 25th April 2015:  The Chairperson of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance and Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, His Excellency Hailemariam Desalegn made a call for the continental body to develop an African Roadmap to eliminate malaria by 2030.

“The transition from Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals should also sustain the gains we have made and move towards malaria elimination as advocated in our Africa 2030 agenda to eliminate malaria” said Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn in a statement delivered on his behalf by Ethiopian Health Minister Dr. Kesetebirhan Admassu  during the Big Push to Defeat Malaria by 2030  high level dialogue hosted at the African Union Commission headquarters to commemorate World Malaria Day.

This year’s commemorations come at a pivotal moment when the progress in responding to malaria in Africa includes a 54% decline in malaria mortality rates and a reduction of malaria mortality rates among children by 58% since 2000. Algeria, Botswana, Cape Verde, Eritrea, Namibia, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, South Africa and Swaziland are on track to MDG 6. Increased political commitment and increased funding have helped to reduce malaria incidence by 34% in Africa. In spite of these tremendous results however Africa continues to account for 82% of malaria cases and 90% of malaria deaths worldwide.

 “We should work in unison to ensure that the US$1 billion of the estimated annual continental resource requirement is fully funded to ensure that the high-burden African countries are able to replace expiring long-lasting insecticide treated nets” said Dr. Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, the Commissioner for Social Affairs.

There were exponential increases in funding and implementation for malaria control programmes over the past decade. International disbursements for malaria control significantly increased, rising from less than US$ 0.5 per case (US$ 100 million total spend) in 2000 to more than US$ 8 per case in 2012 (US$ 1.84 billion total spend). These increased funds were focused on Africa.  During the meeting various ambassadors underscored the need for more education and research on more tools to address malaria control beyond the use of nets.

The review of the Abuja Call this year recommended its extension to 2030 in line with the 2013 Abuja Declaration which outlines key actions to defeat malaria. Africa has already demonstrated this deep reflection and pace setting through the African Common Position on the Post 2015 Development Agenda and the reengineering of Africa’s health priorities in the context of a new health architecture better prepared for disease surveillance and response. Plans to establish the  African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention are already at an advanced stage.

This year the commemorations are being celebrated under the theme “Invest in future, defeat malaria”. The meeting was attended by Ambassadors accredited to the African Union, Universities and various development partners.

For further information contact
Ms. Afrah Thabit| | Information and Communication Directorate | African Union Commission | Tel: (251) 11 551 77 00 | Fax: (251) 11 551 78 44 | E-mail: thabitma@africa-union.org  | Web: www.au.int | Addis Ababa | Ethiopia

Mr. Tawanda Chisango I AIDS WATCH AFRICA (AWA) Program Advocacy & Partnership Expert | Social Affairs | African Union Commission I Mobile +251934167052 | E-mail: chisangot@africa-union.org  | Web www.au.int I Addis Ababa | Ethiopia

About the African Union
The African Union spearheads Africa’s development and integration in close collaboration with African Union Member States, the Regional Economic Communities and African citizens.  AU Vision An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in global arena. Learn more at: http://www.au.int/en/

About the African Leaders Malaria Alliance
The African Leaders Malaria Alliance is a ground breaking coalition of 49 African Heads of State and Government working across country and regional borders to achieve near-zero malaria deaths in Africa by 2015. Learn more at http://www.alma2015.org