His Excellency (Dr.) Richard Nchabi Kamwi, former Minister of Health of the Republic of Namibia and now Ambassador for Malaria Elimination 8 (E8) Countries, paid a courtesy call to the SADC Executive Secretary, HE Dr. Stergomena L.Tax. Dr. Kwami used the opportunity to present the E8 Concept and the Score card showing concern that the four countries that are supposed to be leaders in the elimination of Malaria (Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland) were experiencing a resurgence of new cases. "This trend, if not arrested, has a potential to compromise the elimination timeframes", reiterated Ambassador Kamwi. E8 constitutes of the four mainland countries targeted for malaria elimination (Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland) together with their middle to high-transmission neighbours to the north - Angola, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
In his entourage, Dr. Kamwi was accompanied by Ms. Elabi, Permanent Secretary and Chair of the Health Senior Officials, Republic of Botswana; Ms. Kudzai Makomva, Director, E8 Secretariat and Brig. General Dr. Kaka Mudambo, SARN Coordinator.
In his remarks, Ambassador Kamwi stated that The Elimination 8 Initiative (E8) concept was then endorsed by the SADC Ministers of Health and Ministers Responsible for HIV and AIDS, and recognized as a promising initiative with growing potential to serve as an effective mechanism for regional collaboration, coordination, and accountability in advancing the malaria elimination agenda in southern Africa.
Responding to the submission by the E8 Ambassador, Dr. Tax, the Executive Secretary, acknowledged that the SADC Secretariat, and indeed the whole of the SADC region recognize the cardinal importance of effective cross border management and control of malaria with a view to eliminate it.
In order to scale up the implementation of the initiative with greater political support, Dr. Kwami and Dr. Tax noted the importance for the E8 Secretariat to come up with an elaborative Concept Note that addresses the challenges that the region faces in the fight against malaria and the best methods that will assist the region to get rid of Malaria, including the attainment of timely and cost-effective common procurement of essential malaria commodities, medicines and diagnostics; establishment of a flexible and efficient funding mechanism and enabling local production of key commodities that are essential in the fight against malaria. This concept will be discussed within the SADC framework and be presented to SADC organs for consideration.