On behalf of ALMA and our Chair, H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta of the Republic of Kenya, I want to congratulate the Republic of Mozambique on the launch of a national end malaria fund. This public-private partnership is an important accomplishment. I applaud the commitment of the Ministry of Health and the government, the private sector, and community leaders for championing the fight against malaria.
Since 2000, Mozambique has made significant progress against malaria. However, the work is not yet done. Malaria affects more than 30% of Mozambicans each year and 39% of children under the age of five years old. Two thirds of malaria deaths are in young children. Ending malaria protects our most vulnerable—pregnant women and children. Ending malaria protects our future leaders.
I am grateful for the commitment of Mozambique’s leaders to ending malaria by 2030. In 2018, H.E. President Nyusi launched two important initiatives: The “Zero Malaria Comeca Comigo” campaign and “High Burden to High Impact” initiative. These campaigns help ensure that malaria remains high on the national agenda, engage communities, convene all sectors to take action, and mobilise additional resources so that life-saving interventions can be implemented. This new fund will help fulfil these objectives and the timing could not be more important.
As we face the threat of COVID-19, we must sustain our focus on malaria. The WHO estimated that the number of people who die from malaria could double this year as a result of the pandemic. However, Mozambique has taken decisive action to make sure that this does not happen, with the LLIN universal coverage campaign and the Indoor Residual Spaying underway to prevent any increases in malaria. Additionally, the launch of this fund is yet another demonstration of the Government of Mozambique to rid the country of malaria once and for all.
As the Executive Secretary of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance, I know that each of us has the capacity to be an African leader in the fight against malaria. You can be an African leader by sleeping under a mosquito net each night. You can be an African leader by going to the health facility if you have a fever, nausea, or other symptoms of malaria. You can be an African leader by pledging your support financially or in-kind to this new fund.
Once again, congratulations to the Honourable Minister, the staff of the National Malaria Control Programme, the Board of Directors of the fund, and the people of Mozambique.
Zero malária começa comigo. Zero malária começa com você. Zero malária começa conosco.
Joy Phumaphi, Executive Secretary, African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA)