Sahelian States on course to operationalise malaria scorecard
Dakar, 28 March 2022 – The Sahel Malaria Elimination Initiative (SaME) is set to operationalise the sub regional malaria scorecard following a meeting last week to validate indicators for the tool.
The SaME scorecard for accountability and action will facilitate the implementation of SaMe’s 2021-2025 strategic plan which aims to strengthen regional coordination to achieve the elimination of malaria in member states; keep malaria high on the political agenda within the Sahel region; reduce cross-border transmission of malaria; strengthen monitoring , research, quality control and policy harmonisation to accelerate progress towards elimination and secure resources to support regional elimination plans and ensure long-term sustainable funding for the malaria elimination.
The Sahel Malaria Elimination Initiative was established in 2018 on the margins of the 68th Session of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Committee for Africa in Dakar, Senegal, by the Ministers of Health of eight countries in the Sahel region (Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Chad).
The Initiative seeks to accelerate efforts towards the elimination of malaria in the Sahel region by 2030, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, continental targets and the WHO Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030 through a collaborative country-owned and country-led approach.
Malaria incidences in the Sahel remain significant, with Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger particularly ranking among the ten highest burden countries globally. Like in other countries across Africa, malaria exerts a serious toll on national economies in the sub-region not to mention households. With several of the Sahelian states dealing with long term conflict, the impact of malaria is more acute. A consolidated approach to malaria elimination and mobilization of resources for the implementation of regional programmes is therefore crucial for the attainment of high impact.
The Sahel Malaria Elimination Initiative, currently supported by a defined governance structure that comprises of health ministers and National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) Managers from member states including development partners, and the civil society is one of the key initiatives by Regional Economic Communities (RECs) to eliminate malaria in Africa.
SaME compounds efforts by other RECs across Africa to accelerate cross-border collaboration towards the elimination of malaria in Africa by 2030. This is in line with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s agenda who in his current capacity as ALMA chair has prioritised Heads of State and Government engagement across RECs to address key challenges and provide solutions in the fight against malaria. By adopting the regional malaria scorecard for accountability and action, SaME follows in the footsteps of the Great Lakes Malaria Initiative (GLMI- an initiative amongst East African States) which in 2021 adopted a similar framework to support Member States to act strategically to address challenges hindering progress towards ending malaria.
Present at the validation meeting of SaME’s malaria scorecard were country NMCP managers and representatives from the West African Health Organisation (WAHO), World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Chidren’s Fund (UNICEF), RBM Partnership to End Malaria, African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), Global Institute for Disease Elimination (GLIDE),United States Agency for International Development (USAID)- President’s Malaria Initiative (USAID-PMI), and technical partners including Catholic Relief Services (CRS), and Medicine for Malaria Venture (MMV).The sub-regional scorecard is anticipated to come into full effect in June 2022 following ratification by ECOWAS Health Ministers.