King of Eswatini launches End Malaria Fund as part of national Zero Malaria Starts with Me campaign
On 31 May 2019, His Majesty King Mswati III launched the End Malaria Fund in Mandvulo, Lozitha, Kingdom of Eswatini, as part of the “Zero Malaria Starts with Me” campaign. The Fund will close the US$ 5 million funding gap required to meet the bold and ambitious targets of the Revised Malaria Elimination Strategic Plan (2015-2020) to eliminate Malaria in the Kingdom of Eswatini. The Fund has three main objectives: eliminate domestic transmission of malaria in the Kingdom of Eswatini by 2022; sustain elimination thereafter through surveillance, testing, and case management; and support malaria elimination at the sub-regional and regional levels. Following significant progress by the Kingdom of Eswatini, the World Health Organization classified the country as ready for malaria elimination. His Majesty King Mswati III and President of Senegal Macky Sall launched the continent-wide campaign “Zero Malaria Starts with Me” during the African Union Summit, in July 2018 in Mauritania. Endorsed by all AU leaders, the campaign is a pan-African movement to strengthen national, regional, and continental malaria efforts and is jointly coordinated by the African Union Commission and the RBM Partnership to End Malaria. “Today, I am delighted to announce the launch of the “Zero Malaria Starts with Me” campaign for the Kingdom of Eswatini and our goal of eliminating malaria in the kingdom by 2022. We call upon all politicians, public servants, private sector, youth, chiefs and other traditional leaders to stand up and declare that zero malaria starts with me. Together we can make Eswatini the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to eliminate malaria”, said HM King Mswati III. The King committed 5 million Emalangeni (ca. US$ 343,000) as seed funding towards the establishment of the Fund. The operations of the Fund are governed by a Board of Directors composed of senior representatives of the government, private sector, and local communities, which oversees this Public Private Partnership Fund. Speaking at the official launch of the End Malaria Fund, Dr Abdourahmane Diallo, CEO of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, thanked His Majesty the King for his commitment to malaria elimination and pledged the Partnership’s support to Eswatini’s efforts to reach zero malaria.