On behalf of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance let me take this opportunity to first commend His Majesty King Mswati III for his exemplary leadership in setting up the End Malaria Fund in the Kingdom of Eswatini and providing the vision and strategic direction for African countries to establish similar funds and councils to promote resource mobilisation, advocacy, increased action and accountability. Between 2020 and 2021, it is expected that 15 similar funds or councils will be operational across Africa. The Kingdom of Eswatini has shown the rest of the continent that this approach works!
In many African countries the activities and goals of National Malaria Strategic Plans are externally funded, this funding is neither sustainable nor assured. Indeed, In the context of many competing development priorities globally and increased public health threats of international concern, domestic resource mobilisation is more important than ever.
Let me also take this opportunity to congratulate the Board of the Eswatini End Malaria Fund and the Kingdom of Eswatini on this official opening of the End Malaria Fund Offices here at Sibekelo Building in Mbabane. This generous donation from the Public Service Pension Fund demonstrates Eswatini’s commitment to eliminate malaria as a major threat to Eswatini’s vision for healthy citizens and human capital to drive economic growth. This gift will contribute towards the efficient operation of the Secretariat.
Already in its first year of operation, the Fund has converted pledges made during 2019 during the launch of the Fund to contributions amounting to Emalangeni 7, 5 million to support the National Malaria Programme.
While significant progress has been made in the fight against malaria in the last 5 years, the novel COVID-19 global pandemic threatens to reduce funding from government, corporates and individuals whose attention and efforts are directed towards ending the new virus while also disrupting access to essential malaria services and threatening progress that has been made in Eswatini.
Eswatini is among the leading countries set to achieve elimination in the SADC region and continentally before the global and continental 2030 goals deadline to eliminate malaria as set out in the AU’s Catalytic Framework to End Malaria in Africa and Eliminate Malaria in Africa by 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030.
It is therefore encouraging that African countries are coming up with domestic initiatives that includes both the public and private sectors and communities to end malaria for good.
I am delighted to hear that the End Malaria Fund has already raised sufficient resources to fill 50% of the remaining gap to allow the country to fully implement the national strategic plan, a national strategic plan which should take the country to malaria elimination by 2023!
You can count on our support as your work towards the vision to eliminate malaria in Eswatini by 2023. Zero Malaria Starts With Eswatini. Zero Malaria Starts With Me. Zero Malaria Starts With You.