On Thursday, 13th August 2020, the country’s government officials, their royal Highnesses met at Hilton Garden Inn, to launch the ‘End Malaria Strategic Plan’. The plan will serve as a guide on the journey towards the vision of eliminating malaria from the kingdom. This was envisioned by His Majesty in 2018 when as then, was the chairperson of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) launched the ‘zero malaria starts with me’ campaign.
One of the speakers at the launch was His Excellency Honorable Prime Minister Mr Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini. In his speech, he stressed an important point that the whole world has shifted her focus solely on the worldwide pandemic of COVID-19 and other diseases have been overlooked. In his own words he said, “I can gladly proclaim that despite the new coronavirus challenges, Government has not fallen to that trap but we have
continued to roll-out malaria prevention and treatment services and other health interventions at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic without hesitation”
As a country we have been doing a great job in controlling the spread of malaria and we should maintain momentum. He further said, “Today I am delighted to announce the launch of the “Zero
Malaria Starts with Me” campaign for Eswatini and our goal of eliminating malaria in the Kingdom by 2023. Eliminating malaria will be made possible through sustainable partnerships and through the support of all sectors of society. As a low malaria
transmission country, we are among the four Southern African States identified by the African Union and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to eliminate malaria.”
To achieve this the selected task force should invest in capacity building and human development. In this way the people will be more aware on the prevention and containment measures of the disease. He mentioned that the strategy would be aligned with the National Health Sector Strategic Plan. The strategy aims to reach a period where future children will remember malaria only as a distant memory and not a reality.
The vision of the plan is a malaria free Eswatini.
The objectives of the plan were listed as follows:
- Protection of Emaswati through implementing vector control interventions.
- Testing malaria suspects by quality assured diagnostics.
- Assuring prompt and effective treatment.
- Interrupt malaria transmission in all hotspots in the country.
- Empower all Emaswati to adopt malaria prevention and control practices.
As he ended his speech the Prime Minister extended his gratitude to the country’s international partners who have provided technical and financial assistance in eliminating the disease.
“It gives me pleasure, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, to declare the End Malaria Strategic Plan 2021-2023 officially launched. In addition, I am pleased to launch the Indoor Residual Spraying Campaign and Advocacy plan.
Yes, ‘Zero Malaria Starts With Me.’ ” he said in closing.