SD meets malaria target way ahead

Mphikeleli Msibi | 16 Nov 2009
The Swazi Observer
Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku says Swaziland is one of the few countries that have achieved world targets in the fight against malaria well before time.

He urged the ministry of health staff to continue to work even harder as the efforts to eliminate malaria require more vigilant strategies.

This was at Ezulwini during the SADC Malaria Day Gala Dinner.

"I am aware that today you have been in the field doing practical work in malaria control.

With such extra-ordinary leadership and commitment, the region is indeed destined to achieving the desired goal of eliminating malaria. We as a country thank the SADC Secretariat for having chosen the Kingdom of Swaziland to host this year's SADC Malaria Day Commemoration.

"This is significant in that it is a year before the 2010 roll-back malaria target, hence it is a good reminder to all of us to revitilise our efforts towards achieving the targets as a region," he said.

Masuku reminded the practitioners of the commitment made by Heads of State and Government in Abuja, Nigeria in 2000. He said they committed to making available resources for malaria control to ensure that the burden of the disease is reduced by 50 % by 2010 based on 2000 figures.

"I am sure that all of us are beginning to reflect on how far we have gone towards this target.

"I am reliably informed that the SADC Region is progressing fairly well however, the different member states are at different levels.

I would, therefore, like to encourage all member states to continue to support one another because malaria knows no boundaries.

If one country kicks it out and the neighbour has not then the battle is not won," he said.

He also hailed the partnership with the private sector and other parties, saying it was a key strategy in extension of services to the people.

"Government cannot win alone. Such partnerships give me confidence that kicking malaria out is possible in the region.

The Kingdom of Swaziland remains committed to the global and regional initiatives to kick out malaria.

Government has translated the global commitments into action as evidenced by the resources allocated to address malaria. The country is one of those that have been identified by the AU in March 2007, where malaria elimination is possible.

This is a great milestone for us," Masuku said.

He said Swaziland was one of the few countries in the African region that have achieved the Abuja target well before the target date. Masuku promised to even harder work.