His Excellency President Umaro Sissoco Embaló – President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau – was appointed as chair of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance in September 2022.
The President of Guinea-Bissau becomes ALMA’s eighth chair. He takes over from His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta, of the Republic of Kenya who served as chair from February 2020 to August 2022.
Malaria remains a major threat to health and development in Africa. I am committed to ensure that malaria remains high on the political agenda of the African Union and the international community. The elimination of malaria in Africa will not only save millions of lives, it will build more resilient health systems and contribute to Africa’s socio-economic transformation and achieve the aspirations of Agenda 2063: the Africa We Want.His Excellency Umaro Sissoco Embaló, President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau
His Excellency’s priority agenda
His Excellency President Umaro Sissoco Embaló continues the inspiring progress made under the previous ALMA chairs through his priority agenda.
This game-changing agenda addresses major challenges in the battle against malaria. These challenges include the insufficient engagement of women, children and youth, a lack of funding from the domestic, public and private sectors, as well as the threat of donor funding stagnating.
Digitalisation and real time data
Provide real time access to malaria-related data at country level to enhance malaria prevention and elimination efforts by using country scorecard tools and the ALMA Scorecard Hub – an innovative website providing countries and partners with access to scorecard data, best practices from fellow countries and guidance on how to create and strengthen national scorecard tools.
About this priority
Supporting digitalisation and real time data will help:
- facilitate strategic decision-making
- target resources to drive down malaria cases and deaths promote and leverage the existing research and development sector on the African continent
- enhance the sharing and expanded access to the country malaria scorecard tools, allowing all citizens – in all spheres of life and at all levels – to be aware of their malaria situation and be empowered to act
- October 2023: 20 countries are sharing a total of 285 scorecard tools publicly on the Scorecard Hub (14 countries sharing malaria scorecard tools, 9 countries sharing RMNCAH scorecard tools, 9 countries sharing neglected tropical disease scorecard tools, 2 countries sharing nutrition scorecards and 1 country sharing a community scorecard).
- October 2023: Over the years, we have helped over 40 countries across Africa introduce and use country scorecard tools to help leaders make informed data-driven decisions on health (over 40 countries using malaria scorecard tools, over 30 countries using RMNCAH scorecard tools, over 15 countries using neglected tropical disease scorecard tools, over 4 countries using nutrition scorecards and over 4 countries using community scorecard tools).
- December 2022: 16 countries are sharing a total of 212 scorecard tools publicly on the Scorecard Hub
- February 2022: Scorecard Maturity self-assessment tool launches to help countries understand where their scorecard tools are performing well and where it needs further improvements, and learn how other countries have overcome similar challenges.
- December 2021: 13 countries are sharing a total of 171 scorecard tools publicly on the Scorecard Hub.
- September 2021: SMART actions course launches to help countries understand the SMART action framework used to address the root cause of bottlenecks, ensure any intervention is well coordinated and improve the performance of scorecard indicators.
- February 2021: ALMA Scorecard Hub launches to provide access to country-level health data, country best practices, guides and courses on scorecard tools and the Scorecard Web Platform and regular webinars
- October 2020: ALMA launch 4 online courses to help countries officials learn about country scorecard tools and the Scorecard Web Platform
Engagement with Regional Economic Communities in Africa
Work with Africa’s Regional Economic Communities to engage Heads of State and Government to address key challenges and provide solutions in the fight against malaria.
About this priority
Engaging with regional economic communities will help:
- introduce regional scorecard tools for review and action by Heads of State and Government
- share lessons learned and best practices and create awards for excellence to recognise good performance at regional level
- keep malaria high on the political and technical agenda
So far, we have supported the following Regional Economic Communities in introducing their regional scorecards:
- East African Community (EAC): Great Lakes Malaria Initiative scorecard
- Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS): ECCAS malaria scorecard
- Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS): Sahel scorecard
- Southern African Development Community (SADC): E8 scorecard
- August 2020: 16 countries sign Windhoek Declaration to accelerate malaria elimination in southern Africa region.
- August 2018: The Sahel Malaria Elimination Initiative launched by the ministers of health for Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Chad, seeks to accelerate efforts towards the elimination of malaria in the Sahel region by 2030.
- 2016: Elimination 8 scorecard tool launched by the Southern African Development Community for Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
End Malaria & NTD Councils and Funds
Establish national End Malaria & NTD Councils and Funds across the continent.
About this priority
End Malaria & NTD Councils and Funds boost high-level, multi-sectoral engagement and advocacy at country level, while increasing domestic public and private resource mobilisation. In some countries, these councils and funds also address neglected tropical diseases.
8 countries have launched End Malaria Councils and Funds:
- Eswatini (May 2019)
- Zambia (2019)
- Mozambique (2020)
- Uganda (August 2020)
- Kenya (February 2021)
- Nigeria (June 2022)
- Tanzania (April 2023)
- Guinea-Bissau (May 2023)
Overall, efforts are underway to establish End Malaria Councils and Funds in over 20 countries.
Create a continental malaria youth corps and national malaria youth corps to work with existing youth leaders across the African continent to champion youth engagement and resource commitments for malaria elimination.
About this priority
Our youth engagement will:
- promote innovation, research and development
- create a group of malaria advocates and champions
- April 2023: Mozambique Malaria Youth Corps launched.
- August 2022: Zambia Malaria Youth Corps launched by the Honourable Sylvia Masebo, Zambia’s Minister of Health.
- April 2022: The Kingdom of Eswatini launched their national End Malaria Youth Corps.
- July 2021: President Kenyatta launches Kenya Malaria Youth Corps
- February 2021: We launch the ALMA Youth Strategy for 2020 to 2030.
- September 2020: We engage young people in a pan-African consultation to develop a malaria youth engagement strategy
Pandemic preparedness and response
Use malaria as a pathfinder for key elements of pandemic preparedness and response.
About this priority
Countries can improve their pandemic preparedness by investing in malaria prevention, testing and treatment as it can lead to:
- expanded community health worker programmes
- enhanced digital tools for disease surveillance and detection
- increased the capacity of national laboratories
- improved supply chains and logistics for health commodities
- implementing standard operating procedures to respond to outbreaks in real-time
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the predicted doubling in malaria deaths as a result of the pandemic reducing access to malaria prevention and treatment was averted. Case management was decentralised where possible to community health workers, campaigns were prioritised and went ahead as scheduled whilst observing COVID-19 safety protocols, and data systems reported cases in real time. These systems delivering malaria control interventions are also well placed to support pandemic preparedness and response efforts.