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African Health ministers pledge swift action to end malaria deaths in nations with highest burden 

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Malaria

Health ministers from African countries with the highest malaria burden have committed to accelerating efforts to eliminate deaths caused by the disease.  

The commitment was made during a ministerial conference held in Yaoundé, Cameroon, where ministers signed a declaration vowing to provide stronger leadership, increase domestic funding for malaria control programs, and invest in data technology. 

The ministers, meeting to discuss progress and challenges in achieving the targets of the WHO global malaria strategy, pledged to apply the latest technical guidance in malaria control and elimination.

They aim to enhance malaria control efforts at both national and sub-national levels. 

The Yaoundé conference, co-hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Government of Cameroon, included ministers of health, global malaria partners, funding agencies, scientists, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders.  

The WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, highlighted the region’s heavy malaria burden, representing 94% of global cases and 95% of global deaths, with an estimated 580,000 deaths in 2022.  

Dr. Ghebreyesus attributed the recent stall in progress to factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic, drug, and insecticide resistance, as well as critical gaps in funding and access to tools. 

The declaration aligns with the “High burden to high impact” approach, focusing on political will, strategic information, better guidance, and a coordinated national malaria response. The WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, emphasized the need for robust commitment, increased funding, science-driven responses, addressing climate change impacts, and strong partnerships. 

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