April 25, 2022, ACCRA
The commemoration of World Malaria Day today, is another opportunity for the global community
to adopt innovative approaches to end malaria. The theme for the 2022 World Malaria Day is
“Advance Equity. Build Resilience. End Malaria”. It is a reminder that there is the need for a united
action to speed up the pace of progress to kick out malaria from Africa and the rest of the world.
The African Media and Malaria Research Network (AMMREN), is calling for increase in
investment and innovation to meet the WHO target of at least 90% reduction in malaria case
incidence and mortality rates and elimination in 35 countries by 2030. AMMREN notes that with
just eight (8) years left, the target appears impossible, but is doable. AMMREN admits the fact
that the public health landscape has changed with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic that
took the world by storm resulting in the diversion of huge resources to contain its spread.
AMMREN, however cautions that this should not prevent governments from keeping an eye on
the malaria elimination agenda to ensure that the disease is not put on the back burner.
AMMREN notes that the sudden outbreak of other diseases with public health importance have
the potential of diverting needed funds and attention away from existing diseases such as malaria.
This has the potential of eroding the gains made over the years in the malaria control.
The last few years has witnessed sudden pockets of diseases with public health importance, such
as the Ebola and the Marburg virus diseases. With such trends of emerging disease outbreaks of
other important infectious diseases, it is important that old diseases such as malaria is not left to
cause havoc among vulnerable groups such as children and pregnant women.
Figures from the RBM partnership to end malaria show that malaria accounts for 1 in 12 global
deaths in children under 5, with the WHO African Region accounting for 96% of global malaria
deaths and 95% of cases. In 2020, there were 627,000 malaria deaths globally, a 12% increase
over 2019’s 558,000.
The RBM says there is the need to communicate the urgency of the situation and the urgent need
for action and targeted scale up of existing and new tools, such as the RTS,S vaccine, data-led
strategies and investment in transformative tools.
The global body has said the malaria fight is at a precarious juncture with the global malaria burden
much higher than previously estimated and half the world’s population still at risk of the disease.
On the occasion of the 2022 World Malaria Day, AMMREN is calling for a sustained action by
all stakeholders to end malaria. There should be promotion of preventive and curative tools that
are available such as the distribution of long-lasting insecticide nets, indoor residual spraying,
larval source management, malaria vaccine, intermittent preventive treatment, seasonal malaria
chemoprevention and case management.
AMMREN also notes the importance of the role of the media for strategic advocacy on
malaria. It therefore calls on the media to tell the malaria story and hold governments
accountable to the people. “The media must also shift focus on excessive news on politics
and rather pay more attention to development issues such as malaria prevention.”
Dr Charity Binka, the Executive Secretary noted.
AMMREN is a network of African journalists working together with scientists and
researchers to end malaria.
Media Contact: Charity Binka. +233244703873. Email: email@example.com