Africa has experienced unprecedented progress in the malaria fight in the past 15 years, said the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA).
According to ALMA, for the first time in the history of the continent, a malaria-free Africa is in sight.
“Since 2000, malaria mortality rates on the continent have fallen by 66% among all age groups and by 71% among children under five,” it said.
An estimated 663 million cases of malaria have been averted in sub-Saharan Africa since 2001 due to scale up of malaria interventions.
According to the ‘World Malaria Report 2015’, more than half (57) of the 106 countries with malaria in 2000 had achieved reductions in new malaria cases of at least 75% by 2015. In that same time frame, 18 countries reduced their malaria cases by 50-75%.
Across sub-Saharan Africa, the prevention of new cases of malaria has resulted in major cost savings for endemic countries.
New estimates presented in the WHO report show that reductions in malaria cases attributable to malaria control activities saved an estimated US$ 900 million in case management costs in the region between 2001 and 2014.
Insecticide-treated mosquito nets contributed the largest savings, followed by artemisinin-based combination therapies and indoor residual spraying.
“Since the start of this century, investments in malaria prevention and treatment have averted over six million deaths,” Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General, said.
“We know what works. The challenge now is to do even more,” she added.
ALMA Awards for Excellence
ALMA is, therefore, organising an awards ceremony to recognise 13 countries in three categories for excellence in malaria control.
The awards will be presented on 30 January in the African Union Conference Centre Multipurpose Hall in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The ALMA awards will be presented at the African Union as part of the programme for the Heads of State Summit.
The ceremony will be attended by representatives of the winning countries, including African heads of state.