Uniting Africa’s resolve to overcome malaria and health challenges on Africa Day

Published: 25 May 2023

The African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) joins the international community in celebrating Africa Day. Africa Day is a time to celebrate the achievements of Africa and to reflect on the challenges that the continent still faces. It is also a time to promote understanding and cooperation between Africa and the rest of the world.  Africa is rising and is on a path to socio-economic and structural transformation and is a strong, united, resilient and influential global player and partner.

The enduring challenge of malaria in Africa persists, exerting a significant burden on our population, particularly women and children. This Africa Day, we reiterate the utmost importance of intensifying our efforts to end this devastating disease. Malaria is not the only health burden we face. HIV and TB also remain major threats to human capital development. Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) and Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) issues persist, demanding our urgent attention.

To ensure that we consolidate the achievements made so far we underscore the critical need for sustained leadership, increased investments, and collaborative efforts to combat malaria and address other pressing health challenges in Africa. Guided by the African Union’s 2023 theme, “Africa – Opportunities in Challenging Times,” we recognize the significance of this moment as we confront various public health threats that impact the continent’s development and well-being.

In the face of these challenges, an opportunity presents itself to improve both the health and economic outlook of our continent. As we grapple with the burden of disease, we also recognize the economic burden we bear. By effectively addressing our health challenges, we can pave the way for sustainable economic growth and development. The intersection between addressing our health issues and alleviating our economic burdens cannot be overemphasized.

This Africa Day coincides with the World Health Assembly, a gathering of global health leaders and policymakers. It is a key moment where we recognize the collective responsibility, we share in addressing not only Africa’s challenges but also the pressing problems facing the world. We call upon the international community to seize this opportunity to collaborate with Africa in ending malaria, Neglected Tropical Diseases and address Women and children’s health once and for all.

While we acknowledge the immense task before us, we celebrate Africa’s achievements and resilience. Throughout our journey, we have witnessed remarkable progress and success stories in our fight against malaria and other health challenges. We recognize the dedication and determination of our African governments, partners, and communities in driving positive change. It is a testament to Africa’s spirit and potential for greatness.

On this Africa Day, ALMA renews its commitment to advancing the vision of a malaria-free Africa and a continent where all people can thrive in good health. We urge African governments to prioritize and sustain investments in malaria prevention and control, NTDs, and RMNCAH as well as the broader health and development agenda. We call upon our international partners and the private sector to continue their unwavering support and collaboration.

Together, we can seize the opportunities presented by these challenging times and build a brighter future for Africa. As we work towards ending malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases, and addressing our other health threats, we not only improve the well-being of our people but also unlock the potential for sustainable development and prosperity across the continent.