Malawi launches Zero Malaria Starts with Me campaign, becoming the 20th country joining continent-wide movement

22 June 2021, Machinga, Malawi – Today, Malawi announced the launch of the country’s national Zero Malaria Starts with Me campaign, joining the pan-African movement to strengthen local, national, and regional efforts towards a malaria-free Africa. As part of the campaign, all individuals, families, communities, as well as political, business and religious leaders will be urged to make a personal commitment to step up the fight against the disease.

According to the most recent data, malaria remains the leading cause of death in Malawi, claiming around 6 lives every day. Last year alone, the country registered 6.9 million cases of malaria and lost 2’500 lives, more than any other disease, including COVID-19.

“Following the launch of the Zero Malaria Starts with Me campaign, my Administration will distribute 9,258,645 mosquito nets in 25 districts and do indoor residual spraying in the 4 districts of Nkhata-Bay, Nkhota-kota, Balaka and Mangochi. Currently, only 55% of Malawians sleep under mosquito nets, and we need to get to 100% if we are going to prevail against malaria.  As you have all been doing your part to stop the spread of COVID-19, you need to do your part to stop the spread of malaria” – His Excellency Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi, said at the launch. 

The continent-wide Zero Malaria Starts with Me campaign was endorsed by African Union Heads of State and Governments at the 31st African Union Summit in July 2018 in support of the African Union goal to end malaria by 2030. The campaign sparks grassroots movement by engaging political leaders at all levels, mobilizing resources and funding, and empowering communities to take ownership of malaria efforts and hold leaders accountable in the fight against malaria.

“The benefits of a Zero Malaria Malawi are many and self-evident. A Zero Malaria Malawi will be a country with no funerals resulting from malaria. A Zero Malaria Malawi will be a country with no hospital bills from being treated for malaria. A Zero Malaria Malawi will be a country that saves the 19 billion kwacha we currently invest in malaria commodities each year. A Zero Malaria Malawi will be a country that unleashes the full economic potential of the 6 million Malawians who suffer from the disease annually. A Zero Malaria Malawi will be a country whose health workers have 40% less work to do. A Zero Malaria Malawi will be a country that attracts three or four times more tourists to boost our economy. A Zero Malaria Malawi will be a country in which no student misses an exam because of malaria and no company loses an employee to malaria”, His Excellency the President stated.

The pan-African movement continues to gain momentum as 20 countries have now launched national campaigns.

About Zero Malaria Starts with Me

The continent-wide Zero Malaria Starts with Me campaign was endorsed by African Union leaders at their 31st Summit in July 2018 in support of the AU goal to end malaria by 2030. The campaign, co-led by the African Union and RBM Partnership to End Malaria, to spark a grassroots movement by engaging political leaders at all levels, mobilizing resources and funding, and empowering communities to take ownership of malaria efforts and hold leaders accountable in the fight against malaria.

The Zero Malaria Starts with Me movement directly supports the African Union Commission’s African Leadership Meeting (ALM) Investing in Health objectives, by increasing domestic resources for health and reorienting health systems in Africa.

To find out more information about Zero Malaria Starts with Me, please visit https://zeromalaria.africa and follow @ZeroMalaria on social media