“Strong leadership and partnerships have led to a stunning decline in malaria cases and deaths in Africa. Since the year 2000, malaria mortality rates have fallen by 66% on the continent overall and by 71% among African Children under five.”
“Eliminating malaria on the African continent is no longer an impossible dream. I believe we can be the generation that makes history and frees Africa from malaria once and for all”. -Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, former President of the United Republic of Tanzania.
Founding Chair of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) and Former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, met a group nine visiting journalists who were in Dar es Salaam to report on the historic progress, innovative approaches and ongoing challenges in the fight against malaria on the African continent. The journalists, who are part of a press fellowship, were selected from more than 50 media outlets who applied for the five day fellowship.
Former President Kikwete highlighted the Tanzanian government’s efforts to fight malaria during his administration. He outlined how his administration increased the government’s budget for health and worked with various partners to scale up antimalarial interventions in the country, including universal distribution of LLINs, the use of indoor residual spraying in high transmission zones of the country, expansion of diagnosis for testing of malaria, availability of ACTs for treatment of malaria, as well as using larviciding.
During the two hour working dinner, Former President Kikwete also highlighted the role that his administration played in mobilizing the community and engaging the private sector, to promote local manufacturing of LLINs in Tanzania, as well as encourage the construction and commissioning of a manufacturing plant for bio-larvicides. The Former President also highlighted his personal experiences with malaria, as well as the malaria research being done through the National Institute for Medical Research of Tanzania.
Former President Kikwete also highlighted the establishment of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) by African Heads of States and Government and how they meet during the Africa Union Summits to review progress and challenges in the fight against malaria. He explained how the ALMA Scorecard for Accountability and Action is a useful tool used by the African Heads of States and Governments to identify areas where they are doing well and areas that need attention. The Former President explained how over the years he has seen improvement on various malaria indicators on the ALMA scorecard from reds to many greens and yellows.