20 Countries Expected For Malaria Conference

03 Aug 2006
Herald (Harare)

The malaria review and planning conferences were effective in sharing best practices and peer review mechanisms among countries.

The meeting will bring together representatives of national malaria control programmes of Botswana, Comoros, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Partners and multilateral agencies supporting malaria control such as World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Children's Fund, the African Union regional economic community health desk, malaria research institutions, the private sector, non governmental organisations and other stakeholders, were also expected to participate at the meeting. In a statement, WHO country office said the meeting, scheduled for August 14 to 18 in Harare, was aimed at providing a forum for reviewing, sharing experiences, and planning interventions to accelerate access to malaria prevention and treatment towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

The theme for this year's malaria conference is "East and Southern Africa --Accelerating Malaria Prevention and Treatment".

Other objectives of the conference were to review country progress, performance and challenges in implementing the 2005/2006 country malaria control plans as well as to update country drug policy profiles and implementation of drug and malaria in pregnancy policies in East and Southern Africa.

The meeting would appraise the implementation of indoor residual spraying and insecticide treated nets programmes with the aim of improving community access to the interventions as well as finalise and identify strategies for accelerating malaria prevention and treatment in the 2006/2007 country action plans.

While malaria is largely preventable and curable, it has remained a leading cause of death in the country.