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African ministers say eradication of malaria by 2030 will take more than just money

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African ministers say eradication of malaria by 2030 will take more than just money
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Last week, international donors reached their target of €12 billion to fight malaria and other pandemics. The Global Fund reached its target after French President Emmanuel Macron's last-ditch fundraising proved fruitful for the organisation.

One of the organisation's goals is to end HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria epidemics by 2030.

Professor Awa Marie Coll-Seck, Senegal's former health minister, told Euronews that to reach the eradication objective more work is needed at the community-level.

She gave the example of the Thienaba village, in western Senegal, where a "communitarian approach" was able to eradicate the disease as well as in all surrounding villages.

"There was raising of awareness among the women who took on the fight and proved that it was possible to do the same elsewhere," she said, adding that the "communitarian approach" was in her opinion the best weapon against the mosquito-transmitted disease.

She added that if she was still health minister, she would invest in hiring more health agents to work directly with affected communities.

Eradication by 2030?

So can the disease be eradicated by 2030? Coll-Seck doesn't think so.

"We’ll be talking about eradication when it becomes global. So eradication will take more time and will probably need other tools, such as vaccination, but we can get to pretty high elimination rates," she said.

For Niger's health minister, Idi Illiassou Mainassara, in order to reach the objective of eradication by 2030, resources will need to follow.

"If today the resources follow, then in 10 years we’ll be able to eradicate malaria," he told Euronews.

The minister also believed eradication depends on a "change of attitude" towards the disease, calling the fight against malaria "multidimensional and multifactorial".

"In Africa, the first factor for the propagation of malaria is the unsanitary conditions. Wastewater, domestic animal breeding, and illiteracy also contribute to the disease spreading," he said.

"Because of all those factors, we need more mobilisation, a big communication campaign, and awareness if we want to eliminate malaria by 2030. "

Capacity building with more agents on the field fighting the disease in the communities is also a requisite for its elimination, Mainassara added.

"If all those factors are together, then I think we can decrease even if we don’t eliminate completely. We will have results close to 100%."

As for the G7, are they doing enough?

"I believe their efforts are not sufficient, they must go beyond discourse to action," said Niger's health minister.

"If there is enough funding, we will be able to develop our countries (in Africa) and retain the people crossing the Mediterranean in the pursuit of a better life.

"We can stop that, but there needs to be investment in Africa and the partners who work to improve public health."

Mainassara said that after each conference, the question asked is: "Will the mobilisation meet the expectations?"

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