The WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti has urged African leaders to mobilize additional resources for the fight against malaria. She made this call during her two-day visit to Mozambique which wrapped up earlier this week.
Dr Moeti emphasized that strong ownership and leadership by the highest malaria burden countries in Africa was necessary if the continent was to reach the common goal of a malaria-free world. She was in Mozambique to launch the WHO World Malaria report, meet with the country’s leaders and see the progress the country has made on some health challenges.
During a courtesy call with Mozambique’s Prime Minister Dr Carlos Agostinho do Rosario, Dr Moeti discussed the country’s commitment to ending malaria. The Prime Minister said malaria was at the top of the country’s health agenda and that President Jacinto Filipe Nyusi had launched an initiative in June to accelerate the response against malaria. He said through the national malaria campaign called “Zero Malaria Begins with Me”, President Nyusi had given clear guidelines for implementation through multi-sectoral collaboration
As part of the report launch, Dr Moeti, participated in high-level discussions on the burden of malaria in Africa, which accounted for 93% of global malaria deaths in 2017. Other key guests included ministers of health, experts and development partners.
Dr Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho, Roll Back Malaria, Partnership board chair called on all countries – malaria-burdened and malaria-free, to step up their investments. “The return on malaria investment is more than just healthier people - it also translates into thriving communities and stronger economies,” she said.
Dr Moeti said WHO would support all countries in their effort to accelerate the implementation of control measures so as to rapidly reduce the disease burden and eliminate malaria and added “ending malaria requires a shared responsibility to financing, and efficient utilization of resources in the high burden countries to scale up existing interventions and introduce innovative tools”.
Mozambique’s minister for health, Dr Nazira Karimo Vali Abdula called for close cooperation in the fight against malaria and working nationally on aspects of control and elimination at the same time.
“If we do not eliminate malaria in our countries, it shall have a significant negative effect on the economic development, particularly our agricultural and tourism sectors,” he added.
After the launch, Dr Moeti visited the National Health Institute where she was told of its key role in health and research and in supporting other countries. The institute is responsible for regulation and supervision of health research. It also focuses on health technology development and adoption, disease control and prevention and reference laboratory services.
At the Zimpeto Health Centre, outside Maputo, Dr Moeti met and spoke to staff and patients in the public health facility which offers maternal, paediatrics, HIV treatment and Tuberculosis services.
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