About malaria

Malaria is a preventable and treatable infectious disease transmitted by mosquitoes. African countries account for 96% of global malaria cases and 98% of global malaria deaths. In 2020, the World Health Organisation estimated that over 600,000 Africans died from malaria, and 80% of these were children under the age of 5 years old.

Learn more about malaria on the World Health Organisation website.

Political commitments to end malaria

Ending the epidemic of malaria is set in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of SDG 3, ensuring healthy lives and promoting wellbeing for all at all ages.

At the African Union, member states have committed to defeat malaria since 2000 with the Abuja Declaration on Roll Back Malaria. This commitment has been renewed in the Catalytic Framework to End AIDS, TB and Eliminate Malaria in Africa by 2030.

Our work is aligned to these commitments and the African Union Agenda 2063 – “The Africa We Want” which sets the elimination of malaria as a key goal.

Our malaria work

ALMA was established by African Heads of State and Government; uniting in a coordinated and effective response to address the scourge of malaria.

ALMA has been working since 2009 to:

  • keep malaria high on the political and policy agenda at global, national and local levels
  • provide a forum for high level advocacy for the elimination of malaria by 2030
  • provide a forum to review progress and address challenges being faced in meeting the malaria targets
  • provide a forum for sharing of information and best practices on combating malaria

We are helping to defeat malaria through:

  • the continental ALMA Scorecard for Accountability and Action
  • country malaria scorecard tools
  • supporting the global End Malaria Council
  • national End Malaria and NTD Councils and Funds
  • youth engagement and national malaria youth corps
  • Regional Economic Communities engagement including scorecard tools
  • supporting local manufacturing in Africa
  • community quality of care scorecard tools
  • using malaria as a pathfinder for key elements of pandemic preparedness and response
  • the ALMA Scorecard Hub

ALMA Scorecard for Accountability and Action

In 2011, African Union Heads of State and Government requested the enhancement of tracking and accountability for malaria. To realise this, we developed the ALMA Scorecard for Accountability and Action. The scorecard shows the progress being made at a country-level and allows comparisons between countries on the African continent.

In collaboration with the World Health Organization and the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, ALMA continues to use the ALMA Scorecard for Accountability and Action for Heads of States and Government and senior leaders to improve accountability, monitoring and response to health systems gaps.

The scorecard is used as a key resource by ministries of health, national malaria control programmes and development partners to facilitate tracking of progress and strengthening accountability for malaria control and elimination across the continent.

Every year, the scorecard, country reports (including recommended actions for improvement in performance when bottlenecks are identified) and the Africa Malaria Progress Report is disseminated to Heads of State and Government by the ALMA Chair at the African Union Summit, as part of the official summit documentation. Country-specific recommended actions have a response rate of over 80%.

Over the years, the ALMA Scorecard for Accountability and Action has added indicators for reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and neglected tropical diseases.

Learn more about the ALMA Scorecards for Accountability and Action.

Country malaria scorecard tools

National malaria scorecard tools are country-owned and country-led. Each country-level scorecard tool is made up of country selected priority indicators based on national malaria strategic plans. They help leaders and actors at different levels make informed data-driven decisions on malaria, leading to impact. These scorecard tools are used to drive action, such as through addressing upsurges, stock-outs, task-shifting and filling resource gaps.

We have supported over 40 countries to develop and implement malaria scorecard tools. We help countries:

  • strengthen and institutionalise their scorecard tools to promote transparent data sharing
  • document country best practices to assist fellow countries
  • share their scorecard tools on the ALMA Scorecard Hub

Learn more about country scorecard tools and the support we provide to countries.

Countries with malaria scorecards

Supporting the global End Malaria Council

The global End Malaria Council is a committed group of global public sector and business leaders that sees malaria eradication as a critical health and development priority. The current ALMA chair is always a member of the council. Former ALMA chairs, His Excellency Jakaya Kikwete (former President of the United Republic of Tanzania) and Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (former President of the Republic of Liberia) are also members of the council.

The council helps to drive progress toward malaria eradication by focusing on three key areas:

  • Leadership: ensuring that malaria eradication remains high on global and regional agendas with strong political commitment from leaders at all levels
  • Financing: advocating at the global and country levels to ensure sufficient funding to protect our progress and end malaria for good
  • Technology: supporting the introduction of new technologies that can accelerate the path to eradication

Learn more about the global End Malaria Council.

National End Malaria and NTD Councils and Funds

We support African countries in establishing national End Malaria and NTD Councils and Funds. These are country-owned and country-led, multi-sectoral forums, convening leaders from government, the private sector, civil society and the community in the fight against malaria. Some countries are also including neglected tropical diseases as part of their councils and funds.

They drive public and private domestic resource mobilisation and support for national malaria control and elimination programmes. In some countries, these councils and funds also address neglected tropical diseases.

Learn more about national End Malaria Councils and Funds.

Youth engagement and national malaria youth corps

Our youth engagement mobilises young leaders across the continent to advocate and take action to end malaria and expand universal health coverage. We are achieving this through:

  • the ALMA Youth Advisory Council which provides strategic guidance to ALMA and national Malaria Youth Corps on engaging young people in the fight against malaria.
  • national malaria youth corps that bring together a new generation of advocates and leaders to sensitise their communities on malaria prevention, advise and support their national malaria control programme, serve as youth ambassadors in local government and participate in national, continental and global campaigns.

Learn more about our youth engagement work.

Regional Economic Communities engagement

We work with all 5 African Regional Economic Communities to engage Heads of State and Government to address challenges and provide solutions to end malaria. We are achieving this through:

  • developing regional scorecard tools for review by Heads of State and Government and Ministers of Health and Finance
  • sharing lessons learned and best practices amongst fellow countries
  • establishing awards for excellence at the regional level

Learn more about our engagement with Regional Economic Communities.

Supporting local manufacturing in Africa

We support the African Union’s development agency, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD), in helping to improve Africa’s local manufacturing capacity for medicines, nets and vaccines across the continent. Guided by the African Union’s Agenda 2063, this work is set out in the AUDA-NEPAD’s Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan for Africa.

Learn more about our work on local manufacturing in Africa.

Community quality of care scorecard tools

We also support countries to develop and implement quality of care community scorecard tools.

Community scorecard tools provide a system for community members to systematically assess service delivery performance by scoring a set of quality-of-care indicators, discussing performance with health service providers and managers, and agreeing and following up on remedial actions to underperformance.

This cycle is repeated quarterly enabling continuous action and long-term assessment of improvements. The community scorecard tools enhance community-ownership and engagement in their own health.

Learn more about community scorecard tools and the support we provide to countries.

Using malaria as a pathfinder for pandemic preparedness

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the global community is working to implement best practices and strengthen health systems to be prepared for the next disease outbreak. Malaria is uniquely positioned to serve as a pathfinder for pandemic preparedness and response, through:

  • continuing investment in malaria prevention
  • testing and treatment
  • support to community health workers
  • real time use of data to drive action
  • enhanced digitalisation
  • supply chain strengthening

Learn more about our work on pandemic preparedness and response.

ALMA Scorecard Hub

The Scorecard Hub is an innovative website helping countries revolutionise and optimise the use of digital scorecard tools for health. The website provides countries and partners with access to malaria scorecard data, best practices from fellow countries and guidance on how to create and strengthen national scorecard tools.

Learn more about the Scorecard Hub.