Amref Health Africa Calls for Increased Investment to Strengthen Gains in Fight Against Malaria
Since 2000, global commitment and effort as well as huge investment in malaria control have saved an estimated 3.3 million lives, reducing malaria incidence by 31% and mortality rates by 49% across Africa. But malaria still kills. In 2012 alone, more than 200 million cases were reported and an estimated 627,000 deaths from the disease occurred.
More funding and efforts are urgently required to reverse this situation. Investing in the future now is critical to sustaining the advancements of the last decade and accelerating progress in the fight against malaria.
As the world celebrates World Malaria Day on April 25, 2014, Amref Health Africa renews its commitment to lasting health change across Africa. Our new name, which better reflects the scope of our work, also highlights our commitment to working side by side with communities to combat major diseases, such as malaria.
Since 1957, Amref Health Africa has focused on malaria prevention and control at community levels because we know that investing in malaria control is critical to improving the quality of life of current and future generations. Amref Health Africa provides better access to prevention measures as well as prompt diagnoses and treatment. In this regard, the organization has implemented numerous successful and sustainable community-based malaria programs across Africa.
A great example of this is the Community Case Management Program, implemented by Amref Health Africa in Kenya in 2012. Within the program, over 3,600 community health workers in malaria-endemic regions have been trained and equipped to provide prompt diagnosis and adequate care to malaria patients.
So far, more than 40,000 confirmed malaria cases have been treated by these community health workers.
Implemented together with the Government of Kenya and other partners, the program has resulted in significant gains in malaria regulation, but it needs to be scaled up and consolidated to ensure it remains sustainable. It is encouraging that Amref Health Africa, the Kenyan Government, and the Global Fund recently signed grant agreements worth $80 million to support Kenya’s continuing fight against malaria for the second phase of the program.
This second phase will include continued widespread use of long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets and access to prompt diagnostic services and treatment at the community level as well as in public health facilities. These efforts are supported by focused communication, social mobilization and advocacy. This investment aims to scale up community services for a total population of 3,175,416, which will definitely reduce the burden of malaria and improve health and lives.
Amref Health Africa calls on the private sector, governments, partners and all other donors to renew their commitment to investing in the fight against malaria, and to build strong partnerships to scale up interventions and strengthen community systems for sustainable malaria responses in Africa.