Today, 25 April 2016, we commemorate World Malaria Day to raise awareness on malaria and its devastating impact. The theme for this year is “End Malaria for Good,” which underscores the need to accelerate and sustain efforts to defeat malaria.
Over the past decade, global solidarity and concrete actions to defeat malaria have led to a reduction in the number of cases. Between 2000 and 2015, malaria cases and deaths due to malaria in Africa declined by 42% and 66% respectively in our Region. The extraordinary commitment of individuals and households, families and communities, health care workers, national authorities and partners made this achievement possible.
Although commendable progress has been made, malaria remains a major public health and development challenge in Africa where more than 80% of global cases and 90% of global deaths occurred in 2015. In addition, thirteen of the fifteen countries accounting for 80% of the estimated global cases of malaria in 2015 are in Africa.
Much more needs to be done to achieve our vision of ending malaria in the Region. Thankfully, the existing global solidarity for a malaria-free world has been further enhanced through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end malaria by 2030.
A malaria-free Africa is possible through strong coordination and implementation of clear strategies and actions; deployment of effective financing mechanisms; and developing processes for tracking progress. This will enhance and leverage existing global and regional solidarity and to transform malaria elimination into a continental social movement.
WHO has, in collaboration with partners, developed the Africa Malaria Strategy (2016-2030) that provides a regional platform to coordinate action towards a malaria-free Africa. We will support countries in the Region to among other actions, enhance evidence-based targeting of interventions, coordinate and facilitate a robust regional platform for stakeholder accountability.
As we commemorate World Malaria Day, I call on countries to implement concrete, multisectoral actions and allocate adequate resources to end malaria.
Let us build on the successes of the past and redouble our efforts in the fight against this disease which continues to devastate and impoverish families and countries in the Region.