Image details: H.E Umaro Sissoco Embaló, President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau Source: Últimas Noticias

His Excellency President Umaro Sissoco Embaló, President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, has assumed the Chair of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), a coalition of 55 African Heads of State and Government advancing advocacy efforts, action, resource mobilisation and accountability in the fight against malaria across Africa.

African leaders are stepping up efforts to implement continental policies to eliminate the disease including the Catalytic Framework to End AIDS, TB and Eliminate Malaria in Africa by 2030. The outgoing Chair, His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta played a key role in advancing a four-point agenda that includes digitalisation and real-time data as well as advocacy and resource mobilisation for this September’s Global Fund Replenishment. A Scorecard Hub was established to promote accountability and action and is now sharing data across 14 Member States, with more expected to join soon.  The digital platform provides real-time access to malaria-related data at country level, enhancing data sharing across countries, facilitating strategic decision-making and targeted resources to drive down malaria cases and deaths. More than 40 African countries are implementing malaria, reproductive, maternal, newborn, adolescent and child health, neglected tropical disease, nutrition and community scorecards.

President Umaro Sissoco Embaló becomes ALMA’s eighth chair. He takes over from His Excellency Former President of the Republic of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta.

Malaria remains a significant challenge in Africa: African countries account for 96% of global malaria cases and 98% of global malaria deaths. In 2020, WHO estimates that 611,802 Africans died from malaria—80% of which were children under the age of five.  Africa did not achieve the African Union’s 2020 target of reducing malaria incidence and mortality by 40% (compared to 2015). However, now is the time to redouble efforts to eliminate the disease once and for all – to do this it is essential that we have a successful Global Fund Replenishment on 21 September 2022.  This will ensure that with the commitment of the Heads of State and Government in Africa and the commitments of our international and national partners we can get back on track.