During the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, it was requested that the 55 Member States “work towards an enabling environment and ensure the availability of affordable, effective, safe, next-generation malaria commodities through regulatory harmonization and support for local production including innovative initiatives to increase availability and scalability”, with the support of ALMA, the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, the African Union Commission and other partners.
This result is the 2018 African Union Malaria Progress Report, which was presented by Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini of the Kingdom of Eswatini on behalf of His Majesty King Mswati III in front of African Heads of State and Government. The report provides an update of the “Zero Malaria Starts With Me” campaign’s successes and highlights the importance of cross-border coordination, public-private partnerships, and community engagement.
To achieve the targets set out in the Catalytic Framework to End AIDS, TB and Eliminate Malaria in Africa by 2030, the report recommends Member States to enhance sub regional collaboration with the Regional Economic Communities of Africa. It also highlights that the ALMA Scorecard for Accountability and Action remain an important tool that countries use to track performance against key indicators. To date, 39 countries have rolled out national and subnational malaria control and adopted the scorecards that can be used to improve local regulatory frameworks to track the innovation of new commodities, in particular to address insecticide resistance.
Furthermore, on 31 May 2019, His Majesty King Mswati III of the Kingdom of Eswatini, also ALMA Chair, launched the End Malaria Fund in his country as part of the “Zero Malaria Starts with Me” campaign. Goals of the campaign are to eliminate domestic transmission of malaria in the country by 2022; to sustain elimination thereafter through surveillance, testing, and case management; and to support malaria elimination at the sub-regional and regional levels. Eswatini business leaders committed to support the Fund, to which His Majesty King Mswati III committed around 352 thousand dollars as seed funding, with the goal of closing the USD 5 million funding gap to meet the targets of the national malaria strategic plan.
On 25 April 2019, Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia, moved into the second phase of its partnership with M2030. The campaign dictates that for every dollar spent, Shopee will donate 1 dollar to defeating malaria in Asia. The company will also launch an interactive game called “Mosquito Smack” to raise awareness about malaria in the region. Patrik Silborn, co-founder of M2030 and Head of External Relations at APLMA, highlighted the importance of businesses in the fight against malaria: “Partnering with Shopee has allowed us to tap into their extensive network of users across the region, and to get more people onboard our fight against malaria. It is heartening to work alongside homegrown businesses who are invested in changing the course of history in this region.”
On the same day, APLMA and the World Economic Forum announced the M2030 Champions Council. The Council will drive corporate leadership to eliminate malaria in Asia and is composed of CEOs and Presidents of well-known businesses in Asia-Pacific.
Additionally, the updated APLMA Leaders’ Dashboard 2018 was launched in Bangkok in April 2019, where the 3rd APLMA Senior Officials Meeting took place. It was developed in collaboration with the WHO and senior government officials from malaria-endemic countries alongside the Dashboard Experts Reference Group. The Dashboard encourages governments to act to eliminate malaria in the region by 2030 with a particular focus on near-term collective actions.
PMI and the Global Fund are supporting the joint campaign by the governments of Gambia and Senegal to distribute 11 million mosquito nets to fight the high cross-border transmission of malaria. The launch of the campaign took place in Senegal at the border with Gambia to symbolize the commitment of both countries. This bilateral international cooperation is a part of the Senegambia Malaria Elimination Initiative Agreement that they had signed in December 2018.
This is the first time that two countries synchronize mass net distributions on each side of an international border. The campaign will deliver around 10 million long-lasting insecticide-treated nets in Senegal, and 1 million in Gambia with the financial and technical support of PMI and the Global Fund.
The Board of the Global Fund held its 41st Board Meeting in May in Geneva, Switzerland, where it approved its Allocation methodology for 2020-2022, and its catalytic investments for the same period, though dependent on the amount of funds it will receive at the upcoming Replenishment.
The Global Fund target for its next Replenishment, which will take place in Lyon, France, on 10 October 2019, is 14 billion US dollars. The first private company to make a financial commitment was Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited on 3 June with nearly 9 million US dollars.
Another highlight is that on April 25th the Thai Foundation Dhanin Tawee Chearavanont became the first private sector partner to support the Global Fund in its largest regional initiative to eliminate drug-resistant malaria in the Greater Mekong region. As such, the private family foundation will give 2 million US dollars over two years to support the Global Fund’s Regional Artemisinin Resistance Initiative (RAI). The contribution will focus on detecting more of the malaria cases in the region, and on tracking hard-to-reach, mobile and migrant populations that live along the border of the country.