Uganda is among eight other African countries honoured for their commitment and innovation in the fight against malaria.
At the 28th African Union Summit in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) awarded the 2017 ALMA Awards to Uganda, Botswana, Cape Verde, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia and Swaziland.
Uganda achieved a more than 40 percent decrease in malaria incidence and malaria mortality from 2010 to 2015, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
To enable the country build upon its momentous headway, Uganda has also secured a US$188 million commitment from the Global Fund for 2018 to 2020 for malaria.
This success was the result of a significant scaling up of insecticide-treated nets and indoor residual spraying as well as case management through public health facilities, the private sector and integrated community level activities.
According to AU press release, the 2017 ALMA Awards for Excellence come just six months after the adoption of the ‘Catalytic Framework’ at the 27th African Union Summit last July. The framework provides a road-map for African countries to increase domestic resources, expand the use of innovation and technology, and improve health infrastructure to eliminate malaria 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. These achievements come at a time when African countries are providing more domestic funding to fight malaria.
The AU statement says that the increase in those sleeping under long-lasting insecticidal nets, or protected by indoor residual spraying, as well as diagnostic testing of children and treatment of pregnant women has contributed to significantly lowering incidence and mortality in Africa.
The growing role of African leaders is also reflected in the recent formation of the End Malaria Council, a group of committed business and public sector leaders that has come together to ensure malaria eradication remains a global priority. The council will explore innovative approaches to mobilise political will and resources to help end malaria.
Malaria remains a critical threat in Africa, according to WHO. 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.