Report

April 25th, World Malaria Day

 “Zero Malaria – Draw the Line Against Malaria”

The African Summit on Roll Back Malaria held in Abuja, reflects a real Convergence of Political Momentum

Haffiya Abdalla

Khartoum — Malaria constitutes a major public health problem in Sudan. Almost, 75% of the population is at risk of developing malaria. Malarial transmission is unstable and puts the whole country at the risk of a malarial epidemic. The possibility of epidemic increases with heavy rains, floods, and in cases of interruption of control activities.

The Federal Minister of Health, Dr. Omer Al-Najeeb, stressed on the occasion of World Malaria Day that the economic and social burden of malaria is greater than the COVID 19.

He advised that communities should take care of their health, stressing on political commitment to implement the strategic plan, describing malaria as “the biggest obstacle to the health system in Sudan. Controlling malaria is one of the priorities of the comprehensive national renaissance”.

“E-2020”

This year, WHO and partners will mark World Malaria Day by celebrating the achievements of countries that are approaching – and achieving – malaria elimination. They provide inspiration for all nations that are working to stamp out this deadly disease and improve the health and livelihoods of their populations.

On 21st April, WHO published a new report highlighting successes and lessons learned among the “E-2020” group of malaria-eliminating countries.

Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of these countries reported zero indigenous malaria cases in 2020, while others made impressive progress in their journey to becoming malaria-free.

In the face of a dual-threat of antimalarial drug resistance and COVID-19, countries of the Greater Mekong sub-region have also made major strides towards their shared goal of elimination by 2030. In the 6 countries of the sub-region, the reported number of malaria cases fell by 97% between 2000 and 2020. Malaria deaths were reduced by more than 99% in the same period of time.

Ahead of World Malaria Day, country leaders, frontline health workers, and global partners came together in a virtual forum held on 21st April to share experiences and reflections on efforts to reach the target of zero malaria.
The event was co-hosted by WHO and the RBM Partnership to End Malaria.

Main strategies for Malaria control in Sudan

The Communicable and Non-communicable Disease Control Directorate (CNCDCD) lead the response to the malaria toll in Sudan.

The country is still in the control phase but efforts to move towards elimination in the Red Sea, Northern, River Nile, and the Khartoum States are underway.

In line with the malaria global strategy, 2016 -2030, the CNCDCD – together with partners – emphasized the importance of ensuring early diagnosis and prompt treatment of malaria, vector control response (including insecticide-treated nets, indoor residual spraying, and larval source management, etc.)

That and forecasting, early detection and containment of the epidemics, capacity building and strengthening malaria control activities through the improvement of the information system, operational research and partnership, and raising the public awareness and knowledge on malaria prevention and control.

The presence of quality assured laboratory diagnosis as well as the availability of adequate, quality assured, safe, and affordable antimalarial medicines at all levels of health service delivery are critical for provision of effective malaria case management.

Efforts also should be directed to raise the awareness of patients and communities about the importance of early diagnosis and safety of antimalarial drugs as well as compliance to treatment.

Sudan Malaria Treatment Protocol 2017

The Malaria technical advisory committee (formed from national experts and partners) recommended the use of AL as a first-line and DHAP as a second-line treatment for malaria in Sudan.

The committee also recommended the use of quinine or intravenous Artesunate for treatment of severe malaria at hospital level. Artesunate suppository and intramuscular quinine are recommended for pre-referral treatment.

The committee recommended banning the use of intramuscular artemether in Sudan. The recommendations were endorsed by the “Council of Undersecretary in Federal Ministry of Health” and were issued by the “Ministerial Decree no. 17/2017”.

Necessary implementation arrangements are taking place at all levels following this decree.
The CNCDCD established a technical committee to update the malaria national treatment protocol and the training materials.

The document, “Sudan Malaria Diagnosis and Treatment Protocol, 2017”, was written and revised by the committee members taking into consideration the “National Technical Committee Recommendations”, the “Ministerial Decree” and the best practice in malaria treatment as reflected in the “WHO Guidelines for Malaria Treatment, 2015”.

RBM Partnership:

World Malaria Day, which takes place on 25th April each year, is an internationally recognized day, highlighting the global efforts to control malaria and celebrating the gains that have been made.

Since 2000, the world has made historic progress against malaria, saving millions of lives. However, half the world still lives at risk from this preventable, treatable disease, which costs a child’s life every two minutes.

On World Malaria Day we mark successes in the fight against malaria, highlight the responsibility we all have to end malaria within a generation and urge leaders to step up the fight and get us closer to a malaria-free world. 

Over the past two decades we have made great progress in the malaria fight, saving more than 7 million lives and preventing over 1 billion malaria cases. 

World Malaria Day 2021 will unify and build on the ‘Zero Malaria Starts with Me’ movement and the ‘Draw the Line Against Malaria’ youth focused campaign. This year’s theme, “Zero Malaria – Draw the Line Against Malaria”, will explore and connect malaria elimination and malaria in high-burden settings.

The objectives for this year’s World Malaria Day are:

  • Highlight the successes of countries in the malaria fight.
  • Inspire a new group of countries that have the potential to eliminate the disease by 2025.
  • Demonstrate that zero malaria is within reach for all countries.

World Malaria Report 2020

Annually, towards the beginning of December, the Global Malaria Programme (GMP) at the World Health Organization (WHO) releases the World Malaria Report (WMR) for the prior year; in the context of the 2020 pandemic, the reports cover the data from 2019. This constitutes the most comprehensive compendium of malaria data and the basis for strategic planning for a wide range of stakeholders.

On this occasion, the report also reviews the evolution of malaria over the last two decades, and reiterates a trend first observed in 2017, when the extraordinary advances achieved since the year 2000 stagnated and even worsened in many regions of the world.

The GMP presents this bittersweet mélange of data along with a clear call to reinvigorate the efforts, enhance commitment, empower the National Malaria Control Programmes, and support research and development to ensure that innovative tools are available as soon as possible.

On this occasion, the World Malaria Report reviews the evolution of malaria over the last two decades, and reiterates a trend first observed in 2017, when the extraordinary advances achieved since the year 2000 stagnated and even worsened in many regions of the world

Compared to the global malaria context in 2000, data from 2019 is simply extraordinary on all fronts, including funding, implementation of key malaria interventions, and the number of countries on track to eliminate malaria from their territories in the coming 2 to 5 years.
To give just one example: overall, the number of households that own at least one bed net to protect their inhabitants from mosquito bites rose from 5% to 68% over the two first decades of this century.

Abuja Declaration

The African Summit on Roll Back Malaria was held in Abuja, Nigeria on 25 April 2000.

It reflected a real convergence of political momentum, institutional synergy and technical consensus on malaria. By signing the Declaration, African leaders rededicated themselves to the principles and targets of the Harare Declaration of 1997.

They committed themselves to an intensive effort to halve the malaria mortality for Africa’s people by 2010, through implementing strategies and actions for Roll Back Malaria, as agreed at the summit.

The declaration also endorsed the notion that the 25th April every year to be commemorated as Africa Malaria Day.

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