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Yaounde Declaration: African Health Ministers Pledge to Accelerate Fight to End Malaria Deaths

Yaounde Declaration: African Health Ministers Pledge to Accelerate Fight to End Malaria Deaths

Paru le jeudi, 07 mars 2024 13:11

Health ministers from 11 African nations, home to the highest malaria rates, pledged on March 6, 2024, to intensify efforts to eradicate malaria-related fatalities. The commitment was made in the “Yaoundé Declaration,” a signed agreement to continue the “High Burden to High Impact” approach, launched in 2018 by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Partnership to Roll Back Malaria.

The approach, aimed at combating malaria sustainably and equitably, is based on four pillars: political will to reduce malaria mortality, strategic use of information for impact, improved policy and strategic guidance, and a coordinated national response to malaria. It also relies on two enabling environments: functional national health systems and the adoption of a multi-sectoral approach.

To achieve these goals, the ministers agreed to bolster leadership, increase national resources dedicated to malaria, and enhance overall investment in the health sector. This would strengthen health infrastructures, human resources, program implementation, and measures to improve the quality of care in high-burden areas. They also called on international partners to increase financial aid and make it more predictable, while respecting national priorities.

The ministers committed to applying the latest technical guidelines for malaria control and elimination, continuing to invest in data technology, strengthening coordination and multi-sectoral action, and establishing partnerships for funding, research, and innovation. “This declaration reflects our shared commitment, as nations and partners, to protect our populations from the devastating consequences of malaria. We will work together to ensure that this commitment is translated into action and results,” said Manaouda Malachie, Cameroon’s Minister of Public Health.

The WHO Malaria Report, presented annually since 2017, highlights a concerning lack of progress in the African region, which accounts for 95% of malaria deaths worldwide. This region includes 11 countries that bear around 70% of the global malaria burden: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. “Malaria continues to cause preventable child deaths and inflict heavy losses on families in our region. We welcome today’s ministerial declaration, which demonstrates a strong political will to alleviate the burden of this disease. With renewed determination, we can accelerate progress toward a malaria-free future,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

The Yaoundé conference, co-organized by WHO and the government of Cameroon, brought together Ministers of Health from the 11 African countries most affected by the disease, as well as international partners in the fight against malaria, funding agencies, scientists, civil society organizations, and other key players. The aim was to review progress and challenges in achieving the malaria-related targets of the Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030, exchange views on mitigation strategies and financing for malaria control, agree on effective strategies and responses for accelerated reduction of malaria mortality in Africa, and establish a roadmap for increased political and societal commitment to malaria control, backed by a clearly defined accountability mechanism.

Patricia Ngo Ngouem

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