ALMA Statement on World Mosquito Day
Dar Es Salaam, 20 August 2022- The African Leaders Malaria Alliance on this day joins the international community to commemorate World Mosquito Day. The Mosquito remains the deadliest animal on Earth, posing a threat to half the world’s population through transmission of malaria, yellow fever and Neglected Tropical Diseases such as dengue and filariasis. Many of these mosquito-borne diseases including malaria, dengue, zika, chikungunya and west Nile fever have been undergoing a resurgence in recent years. Innovation, science and technology will remain critical in ensuring that we defeat malaria by 2030 in line with continental targets.
Through successive Abuja commitments, and the Catalytic Framework to End AIDS, TB and Eliminate Malaria in Africa by 2030, African leaders, development partners, the private sector and communities have sustained action to defeat the disease. Similarly, the recent Kigali Declaration reflects the global commitment to also end Neglected Tropical Diseases.
Globally, an estimated 1.7 billion malaria cases and 10.6 million malaria deaths were averted in the period 2000–2020. Most of the cases (82%) and deaths (95%) averted were in the WHO African Region. Neglected tropical diseases cause devastating health, social and economic consequences to more than one billion people worldwide.
On this World Mosquito Day let us recommit to driving resources and bringing innovations to market to end the deadly bite of a mosquito once and for all.
However, the African Union did not achieve the goal of reducing malaria incidence and mortality by 40% by 2020, a key milestone to eliminating malaria in Africa by 2030. According to WHO estimates, 96% of global malaria cases and 98% of malaria deaths occur on this continent. In 2020, 611,802 Africans died from this disease of which 80% were children under the age of 5. Furthermore, revised estimates by the WHO in the 2021 World Malaria Report indicate that the number of malaria deaths was previously underestimated, and the burden is worse than previously understood.
Climate change, rapid urbanisation, increases in international trade and travel and changing agricultural practices are all contributing to the increases in mosquito-borne diseases. Vector control efforts need to be continuously supported by all countries to maintain expertise and capacity including in monitoring and surveillance. This is essential to detect threats, prevent resurgence and address new outbreaks of diseases. The African Leaders Malaria Alliance is supporting AU Member States to develop and share scorecards for accountability and action with a scorecard hub established for active data sharing across countries as well as stepping up efforts for regional collaboration. The Africa CDC is also strengthening the capacity and capability of Africa’s public health institutions as well as partnerships to detect and respond quickly and effectively to disease threats and outbreaks, based on data-driven interventions and programmes.
By eliminating malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases, we will not only improve health outcomes and end preventable suffering, but we will also drive equity, build economic growth and support health systems to detect and respond to emerging diseases. Malaria has impeded economic growth across Africa. Analysis of data on malaria and gross domestic product (GDP) from 180 countries between 2000 and 2017 shows that each 10% reduction in malaria incidence is associated with an average rise of 0.3% in GDP per capita and faster GDP growth. High-burden and low-income countries had higher than average gains: in these countries, the same reduction in malaria incidence was associated with an increase in the level of GDP per capita of nearly 2%. The African Leaders Malaria Alliance is supporting African countries to increase domestic resources including from the private sector through multi-sectoral End Malaria Councils and Funds that are being established across the continent. In some countries, these are also addressing NTDs and broader health systems.
It is possible to achieve set targets. Zero Malaria Start With Me. Zero Malaria Starts with You.