The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region is working to align the SADC Windhoek Declaration of 2018 to the African Union’s (AU) Vision 2063 through framing the declaration’s main strategies into a multi-year operational plan which will guide Member States in prioritising measures that will fast-track progress towards elimination of malaria, SADC Executive Secretary, Her Excellency Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax, has said.
H.E Dr Tax was speaking during a virtual courtesy call by the Executive Secretary for African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), Dr Joy Phumaphi, on 28th July 2021. Dr Phumaphi was accompanied by the Special Ambassador for ALMA, Professor Sheila Tlou. ALMA is a groundbreaking coalition of AU Heads of State and Government working across African countries with various partners, including Regional Economic Communities and development partners to eliminate malaria by 2030.
Among other issues of mutual interest, the meeting discussed areas of collaboration in the operationalisation of the Windhoek Declaration on Malaria Elimination and collaboration in elimination of malaria as a disease of public health concern in the SADC Region. The meeting also discussed the progress on the implementation of the tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in 2019 between SADC, ALMA and Roll Back Malaria Partnership to End Malaria (RBM).
H.E Dr Tax congratulated Professor Sheila Tlou on her appointment as ALMA Special Ambassadorappointed to help accelerate the fight against malaria in Africa. Prof. Tlou assured of her continued support and commitment to working with SADC to drive and spearhead action.
H.E Dr Tax stated that to this day, malaria remains a disease of major public health concern in the SADC Region despite significant progress that many Member States have achieved towards it’s elimination. The SADC Region is in the process of developing a regional SADC Malaria Strategic Plan for a coordinated approach to malaria elimination among Member States, to which all partners can contribute in accelerating the elimination agenda in the Region.
She pointed out the need for the partners being; the Elimination 8 Secretariat, ALMA, RBM and SADC Secretariat to evaluate progress made by all parties to the Memorandum of Understanding in facilitating the implementation of measures agreed upon as well as steps that can be taken in a collaborative manner to accelerate progress towards malaria elimination in SADC.
She underscored that as articulated in the MoU, the development of the SADC malaria score card remains critical and would support and improve monitoring of the implementation of the Windhoek Declaration on Malaria Elimination as well as other malaria related strategies in the SADC Region.
Dr Joy Phumaphi informed H.E Dr Tax that her organisation was pressing forward with the campaign to end malaria and was already working with some of the SADC Member States to operationalise the Windhoek Declaration on Malaria Elimination and has achieved progress in domestic resources mobilisation, creation of End Malaria Councils and Funds.
She proposed for the parties to fast-track the establishment of the SADC Malaria Awards for Excellence, saying that this will give a push and offer an incentive for Member States to deliver the elimination of malaria in SADC before 2030.
The parties agreed to engage further and concretise the action plan for the MoU, and also expedite the development of a score card for the 16 SADC Member States and improve reporting on the evaluation framework.
The meeting was also attended by senior officials from SADC Secretariat and ALMA.