Tanzania to establish an End Malaria Council to close financing gap
Dodoma, 8 November 2021 – Today, Her Excellency President of the United Republic of Tanzania Samia Suluhu Hassan called on all Tanzanians to work together to end malaria in the country. The President made that statement in a meeting with Ms. Joy Phumaphi the Executive Secretary of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) at Chamwino State House in Dodoma. ALMA is a coalition of 55 African Heads of State and Government working to eliminate malaria on the African continent by 2030.
“Tanzania is committed to get rid of malaria within the country and the entire African continent. We reiterate our commitment to continue to host ALMA, an organisation whose establishment we pioneered, and our far-sighted vision remains to ensure that we drive co-ordinated action to end the disease, that we push for shared responsibility and global solidarity, and, that we mobilise our communities in the fight against malaria. We need increased domestic resources to bridge the financial gap for the National Malaria Strategic Plan (2021-2025) which stands at 57% funded, to guarantee a faster path towards malaria elimination in the country by the year 2030. As a nation, we are determined to have established an End Malaria Council before the end of this year” said Her Excellency President Samia Suluhu Hassan.
Ending malaria will require that malaria remains high on the national development agenda and that all sectors are mobilised to fight the disease. Establishing End Malaria Councils and Funds is an agreed position of the African Heads of State and Government. The national End Malaria Council is a multisectoral platform that brings the public, private sector, civil society, and communities on board, to ensure that resource gaps are filled and that there is multisectoral action for the highest impact.
This council will be composed of senior leaders from government, the private sector, and civil society to work collaboratively to remove barriers and close budget gaps to accelerate progress towards a malaria free Tanzania. Members of this council will work together with the National Malaria Control Programme of the Ministry of Health, which is responsible for implementing the national malaria strategy.
Since 2000, actions taken by leaders of the Government of Tanzania, our partners, and our communities has resulted in significant progress against Malaria. Malaria incidence and mortality declined by 68% and 58%, respectively. However, about 94% of Tanzanians are still at risk of contracting malaria. In 2020, there were 6 million malaria cases reported in Tanzania. Malaria is responsible for killing hundreds of thousands of people each year, especially young children under the age of 5.
Today’s meeting happened as countries across the region commemorate SADC Malaria Week, an annual reminder of the burden of malaria at the beginning of the malaria season across Southern Africa as well as the sustained battle and progress against the disease.
“Tanzania is at the forefront of increased advocacy and championing for scorecards for accountability and action to defeat malaria. Defeating malaria will require that we increase domestic resources to fight malaria. The End Malaria Council will drive that agenda and ensure enhanced multisectoral action” said ALMA’s Executive Secretary, Joy Phumaphi.
Tanzania has reduced malaria by 50% since 2015. Tanzania’s leadership includes the implementation of the country malaria scorecards, and high-level engagement of parliamentarians in the fight against malaria.
Malaria affects economic growth and development; it has the potential to reduce GDP growth by up to 1.3% annually and up to 16 million days of work are missed each year in Tanzania because of malaria. Similar councils have been successfully established in other countries across the region, including in Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Mozambique, and Eswatini.
Her Excellency President Samia Suluhu Hassan and the ALMA Executive Secretary also agreed to cooperate in support of the Tanzania Biotech Products Ltd located in Kibaha, Coast region to attain WHO-prequalification of its Biolarvicide products, technical support for market shaping of all essential health commodities – a process that is likely going to cut down the cost of these commodities and support local manufacturing of next generation insecticide treated nets and other health commodities.