According to statistics, the annual malaria deaths in Africa have decreased from an estimated 764,000 in 2000 to 395,000 in 2015, Daily News Tanzania reports.
A press statement issued by the Executive Secretary of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), Ms Johannah-Joy Phumaphi, states that Africa has achieved historic progress in the fight against malaria over the past 15 years.
“Since 2000, malaria mortality rates in Africa have fallen by 66 per cent among all age groups and by 71 per cent among children under 5,” noted Ms Phumaphi. Approximately 663 million cases of malaria have been averted in sub-Saharan Africa over the last 14 years.
According to the World Health Organization, reductions in malaria cases attributable to malaria control activities saved an estimated $900 million in case management costs from 2001 to 2014.
The Chair of ALMA, Mr Hailemariam Dessalegn, who is also the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, said: “For the first time in history, a malaria-free Africa is in sight.”
Many African leaders have made fighting malaria a key focus over the past several years, assisted by commitments from donors such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the United States’ President’s Malaria Initiative, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, and France’s multilateral and bilateral contributions.
A recent Lancet study concluded that reductions in malaria transmission and burden could be accelerated over the next 15 years if the level of coverage of current interventions is increased. Still, innovation is needed, particularly in areas with intense transmission.
The African Leaders Malaria Alliance is a ground breaking coalition of 49 African heads of state and government working across the country and regional borders to achieve a malaria-free Africa by 2030.