Sub-Saharan African Leaders Move to Adopt 'High Burden to High Impact' Approach to Combat Malaria

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The actions focus on translating political commitment towards getting rid of the vector-borne disease into tangible actions.

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Sub-Saharan leaders in the highest-burden countries are moving rapidly to adopt the "High burden to high impact" (HBHI) approach to jumpstart progress against the mosquito-borne disease, malaria.

The actions focus on translating political commitment towards getting rid of the vector-borne disease into tangible actions. It furthermore includes better use of strategic information to drive impact, implementation of the best global guidance to combat malaria and finally, policies and strategies as well as improved coordination towards the same.

President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, last year, launched the Mass Action Against Malaria initiative, which empowers citizens to play their role in preventing mosquito-borne disease and contributing to better quality health services. Museveni also acknowledged his own responsibility for creating a malaria-free Uganda.

Furthermore, Prime Minister Brigi Rafini of Nigeria confirmed his government’s resolution to fight malaria and launched the pan-African campaign “Zero Malaria Starts with Me” in 2018.

This was done to enhance multilateral cooperation. The First Lady, Aïssata Issoufou Mahamadou too declared her commitment to mobilize action at the community level. Cameroon, Ghana, Mozambique, Niger and others are also building social and political movements to end malaria.

A number of meetings in 2019 have brought together a number of national, local and traditional leaders, academics and malaria experts in seven countries including Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria and Uganda, to agree on concrete actions in the HBHI response.

Similar meetings are slated to take place in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and United Republic of Tanzania as well.

Countries that have launched the HBHI approach have already started developing national malaria database repositories to draw on health systems and other survey, research data and climate data to help understand the geographic distribution of the disease and the impact of interventions.

This will help identify the best concoction of interventions and drives to improve quality of data.

Finally, in lieu with the World Health Organization (WHO)'s push for universal health coverage and primary health care, HBHI will play an important role in ensuring that people who are most in need of healthcare get the right interventions, including insecticide-treated nets and medicines.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria encourages malaria programmes to adopt the HBHI approach when requesting funding and use local data to identify the mix of interventions and optimal means of delivery, says WHO.

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