‘SADC can eliminate malaria’

Health and Child Welfare permanent secretary Edward Mabhiza, officially opening the East and Southern Africa Joint Review and Consultative Conference last week, called on African countries to work together towards eliminating the mosquito-borne disease, which kills millions of Africans every year.

The disease is preventable and can be cured if treated on time.

“I believe that with increasing resources to malaria and the availability of effective technologies coupled with well-run programmes, malaria can be effectively controlled and, indeed, eliminated from our midst. Here in Southern Africa, we have reason to believe that malaria elimination is an achievable goal,” he said in a speech read on his behalf.

Mabhiza said there was need for African countries to work together in the formulation of strategies aimed at accelerating preventive and treatment intervention towards the realisation of health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Combating malaria, HIV and AIDS is among the MDG goals.

The four-day conference, which was being held under the theme “East and Southern Africa ‘ Accelerating Malaria Prevention and Treatment”, seeks to, among other things, review country progress, performances and challenges in implementing 2006 malaria control plans, update country drug profiles and implementation of drug and malaria in pregnancy policies.

It also seeks to give participating countries the chance to finalise 2006-07 country action plans and identification of strategies to accelerate malaria prevention and treatment in the next season.

Participating countries include Botswana, Comoros, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Malawi, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. ‘ New Ziana.

August 2006
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