AU 'needs' US$3.6b annually for malaria prevention, control - The Africa Union (AU) said on Sunday it requires US$3.6 billion yearly for the prevention and control of malaria in the continent, which accounts for most of the malaria cases and deaths worldwide.
AU Commissioner for Social Affairs Mustapha Kaloko announced the figure at the ongoing preparatory meetings to this week's AU Special Summit on HIV/ AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, tagged Abuja+12.
Dr Kaloko called for more creative local funding to close the gap, and said the AU was ready to work with all stakeholders to ensure that the ever-increasing funding gap is narrowed.
'Our position is undoubtedly understandable. Our people are in the firing line. For that reason, the continental organisation will not allow gains made in the trying times to roll back malaria to be reversed or permit the momentum to eradicate the killer disease to diminish.
'It is against this background, therefore, that serious consideration should be given to the fashioning of innovative domestic funding models in order to close the gap created by receding resources towards the fight against Malaria.
'The continental organisation’s history in the struggles against malaria illustrates its avowed determination not to give up or give in to a merciless and deadly disease that has claimed the lives of millions of our people especially children,' she said, adding that the AU was prepared to try all options, including new ideas, in order to fight the scourge.
In this regard, she said the Commission was unperturbed when a number of Ministers of Health made interventions during the Conference of Ministers of Health extolling the positive and amazing results of the use of DDT, a persistent insecticide which survives for a long time after its initial application.
'We hope to listen and to further encourage discussions on this issue. We also believe that more needs to be done to save lives in Africa, through scaling up partnerships, investment in prevention and timely diagnosis and prompt treatment of Malaria. This will only have impact if communities are dedicated and determined to take informed action as required,' Dr. Kaloko said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says the aim of using DDT is to eradicate mosquitoes, but this primary goal has failed since its first use during 1960s as researches indicates.
Research shows that when DDT spraying is ended, malaria’s incidence rises markedly.
PANA reports that the Abuja+12 Special Summit, due to hold Monday and Tuesday, is aimed at reviewing the status of implementation of the Declarations and Frameworks for Action from the 2000 Abuja Summit on Roll Back Malaria; 2001 Abuja Summit on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Other Related Infectious Diseases (ORID), and the 2006 Special Summit on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Other Related Infectious Diseases (ORID).
The Summit will review the status of African Governments investment in the various national responses to ORID and adopt a set of actions to enhance the continent's response and efforts towards reversing the impact of these diseases by ensuring universal access to services and strengthened health systems, especially for the poor and most marginalized people.
The theme of the Abuja+12 Summit, to be held over two days starting from Monday, is: “Ownership, Accountability and Sustainability of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Response in Africa: Past, Present and the Future.'