After African leaders endorsed a new roadmap aimed at malaria elimination from across the continent by 2030, Rwanda has been called upon to be consistent in the fight against the disease if the country is to meet the target.
African Heads of State and Government, meeting under the auspices of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), endorsed the new roadmap dubbed, “Catalytic Framework to end AIDS, TB and Eliminate Malaria in Africa by 2030,” on the margins of the African Union Summit that concluded Monday in Kigali.
In a telephone interview, the executive secretary of ALMA, Joy Phumaphi, told The New Times that except for the 2015 resurgence in malaria cases that she described as “unfortunate,” Rwanda is doing well in the fight against the disease, an effort that calls for sustainability and consistence.
“Comparatively speaking, Rwanda is doing well. Rwanda has been winning awards from ALMA almost every year for fighting malaria. However, like other countries, the major challenge is consistency. Once you have achieved, you need to sustain. The availability of drugs and other malaria supplies is good, the changes in the Ministry of Health are good, too, but they need to be sustained,” she said, adding that pushing for consistency might call for a heavy cost to pay but it is worth paying.
Phumaphi lauded President Kagame for tirelessly pushing for the African anti-malaria agenda through consistently attending the ALMA meetings and putting Rwanda at the forefront of the fight against malaria.
She said there is need for African countries to double efforts, investments, and budgets that concern the battle against malaria. She urged governments to partner with the private sector to come up with innovative financing mechanisms.
Phumaphi also advised Rwanda to put efforts in the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry so as to produce quality drugs and other malaria-related commodities.
She called on Rwanda and other countries to make use of the newly-established African Centre for Disease Control, a centre for disease data collection.
“All countries should support this centre, and feed it with properly verified information that we can have a robust health system,” she said.
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention was adopted on the sidelines of the 27th AU Summit in Kigali.
The initiative aims to fight against pandemics such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, ebola virus and the the Zika virus.
The Africa CDC coordination office will be based at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It will, among others, allow member countries to exchange and share medical innovations.
In January, ALMA presented Rwanda with the 2016 Award for Excellence in malaria control from 2011 to 2015, and for meeting the Millennium Development Goals target for malaria reduction.
Rwanda was one of the eight countries to meet the MDG target and one of 13 overall that were recognised for their progress in the fight against malaria.