Ethiopia has announced the launch of their own Zero Malaria Starts with Me campaign to help accelerate malaria elimination.
Launched by His Excellency Mr Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia, the nation becomes the 10th nation to join the continent-wide movement.
The launch, which took place in Addis Ababa was attended by high-level dignitaries, ambassadors, representatives of the African Union Commission and international organisations such as the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) and The World Health Organisation (WHO).
Following reports that malaria cases have increased for the first time in more than a decade, Zero Malaria Starts with Me seeks to reignite a society-wide movement to get back on track efforts that have saved an estimated 7 million lives since 2000, and to help meet the goal of ending malaria.
The Pan-African movement seeks to reinvigorate progress against malaria by engaging political leaders at all levels, mobilising resources and empowering communities to hold leaders accountable in the fight against malaria.
Starting in Senegal in 2014 by the National Malaria Control Programme, PATH and advocacy tank Speak Up Africa, the continent-wide movement was launched in July 2018 at the 31st African Union Summit. To date, Ethiopia, Eswatini, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Niger, Mozambique, Uganda, Zambia, Mauritania, and Senegal have launched their own Zero Malaria initiatives.
Along with the launch of their Zero Malaria Starts with Me campaign, Ethiopia also announced that they will deliver 40,000 ‘health extension’ workers to deliver health services to remote communities and reiterated their commitment to eliminate malaria by 2030.
“The RBM Partnership stands ready to support Ethiopia in its efforts to end malaria, and we are delighted that they have joined the ever-growing Zero Malaria Starts with Me Movement. We know that we are stronger when we work together, and we hope that even more countries join our campaign to help save even more lives from this deadly disease.
Eliminating malaria is monumental, but the achievable, task and will require all of us stepping up efforts to end the disease. With the Global Fund Replenishment Conference taking place this month, the action is needed now more than ever. Zero malaria is possible, and it starts with all of us.”
“The achievements made to date in controlling the disease are remarkable. Today’s launching of the “Zero Malaria Starts With Me” campaign, however, reminds us that controlling malaria is not an end by itself; it calls for individual and collective efforts that could end the disease. I am personally very much committed to playing my part in achieving the goal and gladly inform you that my government would provide all necessary supports for eliminating the disease,” said Dr Abdourahmane Diallo, Chief Executive Officer, RBM Partnership to End Malaria.
The latest World Health Organisation World Malaria Report shows that Ethiopia has already achieved an impressive reduction in malaria, with malaria deaths decreasing by 58% since 2000. The launch of their own Zero Malaria Campaign will work to drive even further progress in the country.