Kigali, 22 June 2022- Youth attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting met Tuesday ahead of the CHOGM Summit to network and build strong partnerships to eliminate malaria in member states by 2025. As part of the Commonwealth Youth Forum, the Social Media for Health Advocacy training sought to increase capacity of young people to effectively use social media tools for advocacy to influence policies for malaria control and elimination in Africa.
“Now more than ever before is the time for increased political will and leadership to deliver on the promise to halve malaria deaths and cases in the Commonwealth and solve the problems that impede progress on NTDs. As young people we are providing that leadership to ensure that political commitments are translated into action” said Aloyce Urassa, the Chair of the ALMA Youth Advisory Council.
Key sessions included advocacy for policy and social change, and a quick-fire session where young people looked at successful social media campaigns implemented by youth advocates. The meeting also included an ideas lab that was an open forum to discuss social media campaign ideas by participants.
Malaria and NTDs cause untold suffering and misery to billions of people worldwide, the fight against these debilitating diseases is a crucial component in unlocking countries’ potential to build a better world for all. Investment in malaria and NTD programmes leads directly to more resilient health systems, better pandemic preparedness and prevention, and healthier populations.
Young leaders across the Commonwealth are working on calling Governments and private and multi-sector leaders to accelerate action to end malaria and NTDs now in line with the 2018 CHOGM Declaration to halve malaria deaths and cases in the Commonwealth by 2023 and solve the problems that impede progress on NTDs as well as deliver the political and financial commitments of $1.5bn to end the scourge of NTDs. Incredible progress over the last two decades proves that ending malaria and NTDs is possible. Ending malaria and NTDs will make our health systems more resilient and our world a safer place, especially for the most vulnerable groups who are most affected.
The Kigali Summit will convene some of the most influential voices in global health, including world leaders, leading WHO figures, philanthropists, scientific experts, global influencers and community champions. The Summit will culminate with a Call to Action, focusing on the specific actions needed to end malaria and NTDs once and for all. Delegates will be invited to affirm this action by signing the Kigali Declaration.