World Malaria Day In Sierra Leone And Mozambique
The 25th of April every year is an internationally recognized day for the commemoration of the global effort to control malaria and celebrating the gains that have been made and the remaining challenges ahead. Since 2000, even though the world has made historic progress against malaria, saving already millions of lives, the world is not on track to reach 2 critical targets of the WHO Global technical strategy for malaria 2016-2030: Reducing global malaria case incidence by 90% or more and reducing the global malaria mortality rate by 90% or more by 2030.
According to the world malaria report from 2022, malaria claimed the lives of an estimated 619,000 people in 2021 compared to 625,000 in 2020. There were 247 million new cases of malaria in 2021 compared to 245 million in 2020 with the African continent accounting for 95% (234 million) cases and 96% (593,000) of deaths. Nearly 80% of the malaria deaths in the African continent were among children under the age of five.
This year in Sierra Leone, to commemorate World Malaria day, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation partners with the participation of key stakeholders contributing to the fight against malaria in each district across the country, took the opportunity to reflect on the successes over the years, highlighted the challenges and garnered momentum. Statements from the health authorities in the districts acknowledged the contribution made by various partners including MULTIPLY over the last year in the fight against malaria and appealed for the expansion of the 6-dose strategy without further delay. Short statements were delivered on behalf of the project mainly focussed on the activities and goals of the projects by Dr Augustin Fombah, Mr. Kwabena Owusu, Dr Tonya Musa and Mr. Lansana Conteh. As part of the advocacy plan, the benefits of the projects, the challenges and the expected role of communities were also presented.
Additionally, live radio panel discussions were held in key radio stations in the three districts, Bombali, Tonkolili and Port Loko, where the project team, comprising Dr. Augustin Fombah, MULTIPLY Coordinator; Dr Tonya Musa from the University of Sierra Leone (media and communication expert) moderated the radio discussions; Mr. Abubakarr Jalloh, the Assistant Social Scientist and Mr Lansana Conteh (Communication Officer from COMAHS) teamed up with the Malaria Focal Person and Social Mobilization Officer of each district (Mr Mohamed Rashid Kargbo and Mohamed Conteh for Bombali, Mr Hassan Bellal Conteh and Mr. Erwin Kamara for Port Loko, Mr James Fornah and Mr. Mohamed Jalloh for Tonkolili respectively) to raise awareness on the importance and impact of malaria in general, the malaria intervention activities being implemented in the districts, MULTIPLY activities, and the role of the community, community leaders and the way forward.
In Mozambique, MULTIPLY project was officially launched during the 2023 World Malaria Day celebrations as part of the provincial ceremonies in Inhambane province.On behalf of CISM, Fabião Luís highlighted the importance of the MULTIPLY project in improving child survival by decreasing malaria and anemia burden, as well as vaccine preventable diseases.
His Excellency, Daniel Chapo, provincial Governor administering a first official PMC dose to a child