Today, African countries mark the third anniversary of the Zero Malaria Starts with Me movement, as the Zero Malaria campaign has become operational in 20 countries on the African continent.
Launched by the African Heads of State and Government in 2018, the campaign is now reinvigorating existing political commitment, accelerating action, mobilising resources and increasing accountability to eliminate malaria in Africa by 2030.
Since the launch of the Zero Malaria Starts with Me movement, significant progress has been made, with millions in additional domestic resources raised to fight malaria despite the negative impact of COVID-19 across the continent.
The continent-wide campaign, led by countries and jointly coordinated by the African Union Commission and the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, has achieved quick results including ensuring increased domestic resources for malaria. Through engagement among leadership at all levels, the private sector and civil society, the campaign brings together grassroots and multi-sectoral action to ensure that everyone plays a role in ending malaria.
For example, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia and Cameroon have recently increased their domestic resource commitments. Nigeria has secured resources from the World Bank ($200 million) and the Islamic Development Bank ($100 million) to fill key gaps in its national response.
Increasingly more African countries are establishing End Malaria Councils and Funds, which are vehicles to engage all stakeholders and mobilise in-kind and financial resources to close existing funding gaps. To date, countries including Kenya, Zambia, Mozambique, Eswatini and Uganda have launched national End Malaria Councils and Funds, with a total of 15 projected to be established before the end of 2022, in line with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s legacy goals as Chair of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA).
Key achievements of End Malaria Councils and Funds to date include: Zambia: Mobilised $500,000 for mass drug administration and in-kind transportation for insecticides and other malaria commodities; donated trucks and vehicles to the National Malaria Elimination Centre; engaged religious and traditional leaders nationwide; and conducted a mass media campaign to raise the visibility of malaria—including during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Similarly, Eswatini mobilised financial resources to fund salaries for indoor residual spraying operators and to procure antimalarials following a national stock-out; organised televised events to raise the visibility of malaria and the objectives of the national malaria elimination strategy; and educated the media and traditional leaders to the importance of ending malaria.
On it part, Mozambique mobilised financial and in-kind resources worth more than $3 million to close gaps in the national malaria strategic plan; and supported a community outreach campaign to promote malaria messaging in partnership with religious and community leaders.