With photographs of Ugandans stricken with malaria as a backdrop, a Uganda MP speaking on behalf of the Parliamentary Forum on Malaria called for the establishment of a "Uganda Malaria Commission," during an event on August 13 in the Parliament foyer. Modeled after the Uganda AIDS Commission, the Malaria Commission, if established, would receive its own vote in Parliament and its own budgetary line in upcoming budget negotiations, according to Forum Chairperson Hon. Moses Balyeku, MP.
Zambia together with Rwanda and Zanzibar are said to be countries sustaining malaria control with the hope of moving towards the elimination of the disease that is said to kill one child in Africa every 60 seconds.
UAM programme manager for South Africa Ann McCartney-Melstad, however, said there was need for more political will among all African countries if the continent was to achieve total elimination. “We need political leaders across Africa to unite against malaria so that all African countries can eventually achieve elimination. Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease,” she said. She observed that Zambia had made several interventions which had drastically reduced the prevalence rate, especially along the line of rail, with Lusaka and Copperbelt provinces leading in the number of households using insecticide treated mosquito nets. Ms McCartney-Melstad was speaking during the fight against malaria UAM/Council for Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA)/Stanbic media workshop held at Moba Hotel in Kitwe on the sidelines of the regional soccer championship.
Malaria kills an estimated 1.2-million people every year, the large majority the poor and vulnerable, primarily young children and pregnant women in Africa who are more likely to be exposed to infection due to lower immunity levels and have the most limited access to malaria prevention, treatment, and control measures.
United Against Malaria corporate partners met in Tanzania last week to advance the role of the private sector in malaria control, building on top-level support from the Prime Minister, who recently invited 32 new companies to become Malaria Safe.
This World Malaria Day, United Against Malaria partners reached out to communities across Uganda with the help of music. Two popular local artists, Bobi Wine and Samalie Matovu, produced a song promoting net usage, diagnostics and treatment.
The song will be promoted on Ugandan radio and television, while MTN, a leading communication company in Uganda, offered 20 million shillings to promote malaria advocacy and prevention songs. Voices for a Malaria-Free Future is grateful to Bobi and Samalie for using their talents and to MTN for using its influence to advocate for a response from the Ugandan government to fight against malaria.