Statement by His Excellency Dr Hage Geingob at the Malaria Summit London
18 April 2018
Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government;
Mr. Bill Gates,
Ladies and gentlemen;
The people of Namibia subscribe to the belief that a healthy nation is a productive nation. An investment in the health sector is an investment in the future of a country.
Upon attaining independence, our surveillance system reported close to 500,000 cases of malaria, 40,000 admissions and 1, 700 deaths due to the disease. Staying true to our commitment to invest in the health of our people, we have managed, over the course of 28 years, to reduce malaria cases by almost 90%, thanks in part to our budgetary commitments towards combating Malaria, totaling US$ 10 million over the past 5 years. Furthermore, our efforts to combat Malaria have also been bolstered through the support of our development and implementing partners.
At the regional level, Namibia is the host nation for the Malaria Elimination 8 (Angola, Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Mozambique) and incoming chair of SADC. We hope to leverage these platforms to further strengthen our regional and continental efforts towards combating Malaria.
We are wary about the fact that progress in the fight against malaria has stagnated in many regions of the world. It is for this reason that we are here at this Summit, to exchange ideas with peers and experts, as well as to express our resolute commitment towards ending malaria by 2023.
Let me thank the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the extraordinary work they are doing in the fight against Malaria. I met Bill Gates years ago when I was Prime Minister. I come from a country with high inequalities, and Bill Gates is an example of how the wealthy should share with the needy.
Namibia welcomes the findings and recommendations of the Malaria future for Africa (MalaFA) Study, which was launched here, in London, yesterday.
To ensure that Namibia delivers on the promise of ending Malaria by 2023, we have taken the following steps at National Level:
- We have aligned our National Strategy to the Global Technical Strategy, which was approved during the 66th session of World Health Assembly (WHA), as the global guiding strategy for malaria control and Elimination.
- Programme re-orientation to fill the gaps are in process and will enable us to implement the National Strategy.
- Namibia's government is committed to increasing national resources to meet some of the gaps currently being experienced.
- Global fund grant application was approved for 2018 -2020 (USD 2,370,582) to fund some of our National Strategy gap.
- Cross-border malaria control: Importation of malaria cases is a major problem in districts that border malaria endemic neighbouring countries. Through the support of Global Fund, we are now able to supplement cross border malaria control. This will reduce importation of malaria cases, thus reducing malaria transmission.
- Operational research: The University of Namibia, supported by the University of California San Francisco, is conducting operational research to gather local evidence that will further guide programme strategies.
The time is now, the opportunity is here. Namibia joins hands with the rest of the world to commit to the goal of ending Malaria by 2023.
I thank you.?