Ethiopia, Swaziland, Uganda, Botswana, Cabo Verde, Comoros, DRC and Chad have been honoured for their significant progress in the fight against malaria.
The eight countries were awarded on Monday by the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) at the 28th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
ALMA is an alliance of 49 African Heads of State and Government working to end malaria-related deaths.
“The success of these countries shows the powerful impact that dedication and sufficient funding can have … Thanks to strong African leadership and innovative new partnerships, we are making unprecedented progress in the fight against malaria,” President of Chad and outgoing AU Chairperson, Idriss Déby Itno said in a statement.
The success of these countries shows the powerful impact that dedication and sufficient funding can have ... Thanks to strong African leadership and innovative new partnerships, we are making unprecedented progress in the fight against malaria.
Ethiopia, Swaziland and Uganda are estimated to have decreased malaria incidence and mortality by more than 40 percent in the past five years, according to the World Health Organisation.
Their progress keeps them on track to eliminate malaria by 2020.
The Executive Secretary of ALMA, Joy Phumaphi has acknowledged the efforts of the honoured countries which he says are paying off.
“Commitment at every level and reduction in cases and deaths proves that persistence and leadership make a difference in the malaria fight,” he added.
The 2017 ALMA Awards for Excellence come just six months after the adoption of the ‘Catalytic Framework’ that provides a roadmap for African countries to increase domestic resources, expand the use of innovation and technology, and improve health infrastructure to eliminate malaria from the continent by 2030.
Since 2000, malaria mortality rates across the continent have fallen by 62 percent in all age groups and by 69 percent among children under five, according to the African Union.
Africa still bears the highest global malaria burden. In 2015, 195 million of the 212 million new malaria cases and 394,000 of the world’s 429,000 malaria-related deaths were in Africa.