Eliminating Neglected Tropical Diseases in Africa: National Programme Managers and Partners Meet to Take Stock of Progress in the African Region

Press Release

KIGALI, July 17, 2018 – The Expanded Special Project for Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (ESPEN) convenes national Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Programme Managers and partners at its first annual meeting to review the regional and national progress towards NTD elimination in Africa.                                         

NTDs are a group of communicable diseases that affect more than 1.5 billion people globally, 39% of whom live in Africa. These dangerous and destructive diseases can be prevented and treated, yet they continue to cause severe disfigurement and other long-term disabilities that create obstacles to education, employment, economic growth and overall development.

In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched the Expanded Special Project for Elimination of NTDs (ESPEN) to help all African countries accelerate the elimination of the 5 most prevalent NTDs by sharing best practices, coordinating activities and offering technical guidance. “Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) programmes harness diverse partnerships to drive impact – including across sectors, and countries. With communities and entire nations struggling under the burden of these diseases, increased financial support, stronger political commitment and better tools to prevent, diagnose and treat the diseases are vital to defeat NTDs”, said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director. At this first annual meeting, ESPEN, Programme Managers and partners will provide updates and share their progress towards the NTD control and elimination. Discussions will address coordination, government ownership, partnerships, planning, advocacy and resource mobilization.

NTDs have devastated over millions of lives for the longest time but, massive coordinated efforts have brought together governments, private sector companies, NGOs and communities from the most remote areas, proving us that the international community is on the right track, and that elimination is within reach. Throughout the continent, countries are making progress towards NTD control and elimination. In 2017, Togo eliminated lymphatic filariasis as a public health problem in Togo and this year, Ghana has done the same with trachoma. Illustrating public health as its best, health technicians, partners and community health workers have come together with a clear objective to improve the lives of millions of the most vulnerable people.

With the clear objective to promote the need for coordination of country ownership of the integrated PC-NTD programme, from the meeting shall stem key action points and recommendations to improve the implementation of annual plans and activities for the completion of the NTD Roadmap.  

What: ESPEN First Annual Programme Managers Meeting
When: 17-19 July 2018
Where: Lemigo Hotel, Kigali, Rwanda

About Rwanda NTD Programme

The NTD programme was established in June 2007, with a $ 3 Million 3 year grant from the Legatum Foundation through Geneva Global and Columbia University’s Access Project. From December 2016, the program is implementing a grant of $1.7 Million for a period up to September 2018, with direct partnership between the GoR and the END Fund.

With the above partnership, the program has mapped most common NTDs:

  • Intestinal worms:  65% (2008); 45% (2014).
  • Schistosomiasis (bilharzia):  2.7% (varying from 0 to 70% in surveyed schools) (2008); 1.9% (2014); But the use of more sensitive test in 2014 has revealed higher prevalence and new hot spots with an overall prevalence of 7.4% (varying from 0 to 100% in surveyed schools) (only intestinal bilharzia was found endemic around lakes and marshes in Rwanda).
  • Trachoma and Lymphatic filariasis were also mapped in 2008 and found not being public health threats.
  • Training of laboratory technicians on NTDs diagnosis and training of nurses and physicians on clinical management of NTDs was conducted. Currently, training on NTDs for all 45,000 CHWs is being implemented in June until July 2018.
  • Since 2008, Mass Deworming campaigns (Mass Drug Administration or MDA) against intestinal worms for high risk population mainly children from 1 to 15 years and against bilharzia for children from 5 to 15 years from endemic areas (around lakes and marshes). This mass treatment campaign is implemented mainly through the MCH week implemented every 6 months.

About ESPEN

With a secretariat based in WHO AFRO headquarters in Brazzaville, ESPEN contributes to the control and elimination of the five-leading neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) responsive to preventive chemotherapy (PC-NTDs), leveraging on the commitment of pharmaceutical companies’ donation of effective medicines. By helping countries control and eliminate theses NTDs, ESPEN contributes to poverty alleviation, improves economic productivity and quality of life for affected people in Africa. With the support from ESPEN, Ministries of Health systems can achieve universal healthcare and strengthen their health systems for the benefit of the most vulnerable communities in Africa

Stopping the spread of NTDs in Africa through improved WASH services

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a diverse group of parasitic and bacterial infectious diseases that collectively affect more than 1.5 billion people worldwide, including 600 million people in Africa. They can cause disfigurement, malnutrition and chronic pain, but can be prevented, treated, and, in many cases, eliminated.

In 2017, Togo was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to eliminate lymphatic filariasis, an NTD that occurs when filarial parasites are transmitted to humans through mosquitoes. This year, in March, Kenya was certified free of Guinea worm diseases by the World Health Organization (WHO), and in June Ghana eliminated trachoma, the leading infectious cause of blindness worldwide.

Yet, despite the impact NTDs have on the quality of life of individuals and families, as well as the economic development of a region, they still garner limited funding and little attention from policymakers.

To better support countries in accelerating elimination efforts, WHO’s Regional Office for Africa’s Expanded Special Project for Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (ESPEN) portal, launched in 2016, raises the profile of the five NTDs (lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiasis and trachoma) which are amenable to preventive chemotherapy (PC-NTDs), and most prevalent in Africa. The portal helps to facilitate the sharing of NTD programme data to inform evidence-based action aimed at achieving elimination, and supports WHO’s broader target of long-term strengthening of health systems.

With a focus on advancing progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, more cross-cutting approaches to slowing the spread of NTDs are being integrated into programs that also work on improving water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services.

WHO’s global strategy focuses on strengthening collaboration and providing specific guidance to stakeholders in both sectors, as not just a cost effective way to tackling NTDs, but a sustainable means to improving the quality of life for families globally.

“NTDs and the sustainable development agenda are inextricably linked. Simply put, we will not attain the SDGs in Africa if we don’t overcome NTDs. Tackling NTDs makes economic and development sense. Our efforts will help advance all the SDGs, from reducing poverty and malnutrition to improving water and sanitation, gender equality and education,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

Mobilizing WASH and NTD actors to work together maximizes the effectiveness of interventions and is an essential part of creating a healthy, prosperous future for Africa.

To learn more about the connection between NTDs and WASH, visit: http://www.who.int/neglected_diseases/water-sanitation/en/.

WHO is looking for a Supply Chain Management Officer in Brazzaville, Congo

Deadline: 1 August 2018

World Health Organization (WHO) is currently seeking applications from the eligible applicants for the post of Supply Chain Management Officer in Brazzaville, Congo. The duration of this post is 1 year.

The primary role of WHO is to direct and coordinate international health within the United Nations system.

Key Jobs Responsibilities

The Supply Chain Management Officer will perform the following functions:

  • Developing and rolling out standard operating procedures (SOPs).
  • Aiding in the management and reporting of inventory at subnational and national levels.
  • Developing guidance for post MDA management of donated medicines.
  • Improving/creating the reverse supply chain mechanisms.
  • Conducting missions to identify specific country level supply chain issues.
  • Ensuring coordination between WHO essential medicines focal points and NTD programs.
  • Continuing to maintain a strong link and partnership with pharma to co-develop and roll out effective supply chain solutions in Africa.
  • Collaborating with pharma partners via the NTDeliver tool to prioritize orders scheduled for the AFRO region.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must have:

  • First University degree in supply chain management, public health, epidemiology, health policy or a related field.
  • At least 5 years of relevant experience in public health, including project management and report writing.
  • Experience in the development and implementation of Preventive chemotherapy strategies to control Neglected Tropical Diseases control.
  • A degree in either materials management, logistics management, supply chain management, business management, or pharmacy.
  • Minimum 3 years proven experience in drug and materials management.
  • A high degree of demonstrated planning, organizational, analytical, and financial skills.
  • Intermediate Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel skills.

How to Apply

Applicants must submit their applications through online process.

For more information, please visit WHO.

Eliminating trachoma in Ghana - pioneering work 1996-2002

Nick Burn, CBM Programme Manager for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), explores the pioneering role of CBM and our partner Presbyterian Church of Ghana in tackling trachoma in the country from 1996-2002.  

The WHO recently announced the elimination of trachoma as a public health problem in Ghana - a significant milestone for Africa.  Although other countries have declared elimination, Ghana is the first country in Sub-Saharan Africa to achieve this. 

From 1996 to 2002, CBM and its partner, the Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG), played a vital role as they were the first to implement a specific programme to address the causes of blindness due to trachoma in the Northern and Upper West Provinces, where it was endemic. Over this period, CBM and PCG also trained dozens of government ophthalmic nurses to perform many hundreds of sight-saving trachoma surgeries. 

Eye Health Services in Ghana 

CBM has supported Eye Health work in Ghana for over 40 years. Its Eye Health partner, the Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG), manages eye hospitals in Bawku (North East) and Agogo (mid central Ghana).  CBM’s support to PCG covered all aspects of eye health including cataract surgery, glaucoma, low vision and refractive error.

From 1990, over a period of more than 15 years, CBM supported training programmes for eye doctors and ophthalmic nurses through the National Training programme in Accra. Many doctors from English speaking countries in West Africa completed a diploma course and dozens of ophthalmic nurses were trained in Bawku or Agogo, and underwent a 3 month classroom course followed by 9 months of practical training.

PCGs Eye Hospital in Bawku, Upper East Region, provided eye health services right across northern Ghana. With the remoteness of this vast area, CBM funded Eye Health outreach teams which travelled widely and even into Burkina Faso - which borders Ghana to the north. These were regions with very few health services and the PCG outreach teams often provided the only eye care services available to communities as very few government staff were trained in eye health. The teams treated eye infections and referred cases of cataract and other diseases to the Eye Hospital.

Trachoma 

It wasn’t until the mid-1990s that CBM and PCG became aware of the scale of active trachoma in the Northern and Upper West Provinces. In 1995 a visiting ophthalmologist was studying data from these regions and became aware of the significant number of cases of trachoma many of whom had damage to the cornea due to rubbing of eye-lashes.

Isaac Baba (former Regional Eye Coordinator at PCG) explained:

‘Up until then, no one thought it was a big problem, until we realised it was the cause of a lot of cases of blindness’.

Dr Allen Foster, then the Medical Director at CBM, agreed to support a rapid assessment in the area of Daboya where the largest concentration of cases had been recorded. 

Once the need had been established, proposals were written to provide funding for outreach teams and also for training; it was first necessary to train ophthalmic nurses to support the outreach teams in providing the sight saving surgery. As a first step, experienced ophthalmic nurses and eye doctors were trained at the PCG hospital in Bawku. They would become trainers who could then train others in surgical techniques for trachoma. CBM, and others, then funded the training for government nurses who would support the outreach teams on the ground. Over a period of 3-4 weeks they learnt the entropion surgical technique and were supervised as they carried out their first surgeries.

Outreach Programme 

To tackle the large number of trachoma cases in northern Ghana, CBM provided funding for four trachoma outreach teams, which travelled into the Northern and Upper West regions and carried out hundreds of surgeries.

Peter Abugri, one of the PCG ophthalmic nurses in the outreach team (pictured right on a motorbike with another nurse) remembers: ‘Over the next seven years, CBM really gave a lot of support to this programme including a vehicle, motorcycles, the drugs, allowances, instruments, literature… everything we needed.’

With the support of community volunteers, the non-surgical staff would identify potential cases who would then be checked by the surgeons. Those with early stages of trachoma were given antibiotics and those with trichiasis would be operated on. Often operations were done in someone’s house or an empty school classroom. Isaac Baba explained,

‘Due to their superstitions people were afraid – if you asked them to come to a clinic they would never come; if you took them there they would run away, so we had to operate where people were’. 

One of the benefits of the programme was also to screen for other eye conditions such as cataract, which could be referred to other centres for treatment. 

The outreach teams also visited local schools to screen children for early stages of trachoma. When these were found, the children would be given antibiotics and all the children were taught the importance of face washing. 

Pioneering trachoma research 

In 1999, CBM contributed to the support of Dr Anthony Solomon at LSHTM (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) to carry out research on mass drug treatment with the antibiotic azithromycin, with the support of the PCG. Azithromycin had recently been shown to be effective in treating trachoma but its manufacturer, Pfizer, was concerned about the safety of its use in a mass campaign - without the oversight of doctors to give the correct dose.

This research confirmed that azithromycin could be safely distributed by trained community workers, in the same way that CBM had been distributing Mectizan for river blindness for many years, providing the basis for all future mass drug administration of azithromycin, not just in Ghana, but throughout the world. 

The research was overseen by Professors David Mabey and Allen Foster, and made possible with the field support of Dr Maria Hagan, National Eye Care Programme, Ghana Health Service, and PCG staff Peter Abugri and Joe Akudibillah, Bawku Rural Eye Programme.

National Trachoma Programme 

In the 1990s, the PCG with the support of CBM, was the only organisation working with the government on trachoma. In 1998, PCG seconded Joseph Akudibillah, its head ophthalmic nurse, to the government of Ghana as National Coordinator for the Evaluation of Trachoma. In 2000 when the National Trachoma Control Programme was set up, he became its first Coordinator. The presence of the Trachoma Control Programme greatly enhanced cooperation between the PCG outreaches and the local government clinics as government staff could be easily mobilised to assist with the programme. 

The CBM/PCG trachoma outreach programme ended in around 2002. The government’s own health centres and hospitals had staff trained to carry out TT surgery and the National Trachoma Control Programme was actively carrying out mass drug distribution for the prevention of trachoma, under the SAFE strategy. Much important work had been done in the early years over this vast area. However, but it would be many more years, with vital support from other partners, before the threshold for surgical cases was achieved and the stringent requirements for elimination had been finally met.  

Thanks to our generous supporters, CBM's work to prevent and treat trachoma continues. We are currently working with partners and in 8 countries - Burundi, Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Chad, Yemen, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) -  to help eliminate this painful, blinding disease.  Donate today to help build a world free of trachoma. 

This blog was amended on 1.7.18 to acknowledge the role of key Ghana Health Service and PCG staff in the 1999 research project. 

Image and blog: https://www.cbmuk.org.uk/blog/eliminating-trachoma-ghana-pioneering-work-1996-2002/

Les dirigeants africains lancent la campagne pour une Afrique sans paludisme

La campagne « Zéro Palu ! Je m’engage » veut donner aux populations africaines les moyens de lutter contre cette maladie mortelle

Lundi 2 juillet 2018 - Aujourd’hui marque le lancement de Zéro Palu ! Je m’engage, une campagne à l’échelle du continent africain, co-dirigée par la Commission de l’Union africaine et le Partenariat RBM pour en finir avec le paludisme, et soutenue par des dirigeants africains. À travers cette campagne les deux institutions visent à engager et impliquer davantage de personnes dans la lutte contre le paludisme, maladie pourtant évitable et curable mais qui continue à tuer plus de 400 000 africains chaque année.

Suite à des rapports de l’Organisation mondiale de la Santé (OMS) indiquant, pour la première fois depuis dix ans, une augmentation des cas de paludisme à travers le monde, la campagne Zéro Palu ! Je m’engage cherche à impulser un mouvement social général en Afrique visant à remettre sur la bonne voie les efforts et succès passés dans la lutte contre le paludisme et en vue d’atteindre les objectifs d’élimination du paludisme d’ici 2030. Entre autres, ces efforts passés ont depuis l’an 2000, contribué à réduire de 60% les cas de paludisme à travers le monde, permettant ainsi de sauver environ 7 millions de vies.

Cette campagne, lancée par Son Excellence M. Macky Sall, Président de la République du Sénégal et Sa Majesté, le Roi Mswati III d’Eswatini dimanche dernier lors de la réunion d’AIDS Watch Africa, à l’occasion du 31e Sommet de l’Union africaine, et approuvée aujourd’hui par 55 chefs d’État et de gouvernement africains, vise à renforcer l’appropriation par les communautés des moyens de prévention et de prise en charge du paludisme, ainsi que la mobilisation de ressources supplémentaires pour cet effort.

Son Excellence M. Paul Kagame, Président du Rwanda et Président de l’Union africaine, a ainsi déclaré :

« Parce que le continent africain supporte plus de 90% de la charge mondiale du paludisme, nous avons souhaité lancer la campagne « Zéro Palu ! Je m’engage » à l’échelle de notre continent et afin d’éliminer la maladie. A travers cette campagne, nous espérons lancer ou relancer les mouvements populaires dans lesquels des particuliers, des familles, des communautés, des chefs religieux, le secteur privé, des dirigeants politiques et d’autres membres de la société promettent de s’engager dans la lutte contre le paludisme ».

Inspiré par la campagne nationale éponyme lancée au Sénégal en 2014, Zéro Palu ! Je m’engage est désormais mise à l’échelle à travers le continent africain pour encourager tous les citoyens – dirigeants politiques, d’entreprises, chefs communautaires et religieux, ainsi que les particuliers, les familles et les communautés – à s’engager personnellement et mettre un terme au paludisme.

À ce jour, plus de 20 pays africains se sont engagés à soutenir la campagne et les Présidents de l’Ouganda, de la Zambie et du Mozambique ont déjà lancé des campagnes nationales de distribution de masse de moustiquaires et œuvrent pour la mise en place de Conseils nationaux de haut niveaux et de groupes parlementaires pour la lutte contre le paludisme. D’autres, y compris les Premières dames du Ghana et du Niger, se sont engagés pour intensifier leurs efforts afin d’inciter les dirigeants et les communautés à lutter contre le paludisme dans leurs pays.

Son Excellence M. Macky Sall, Président de la République du Sénégal a ainsi souligné :

« Au Sénégal, le paludisme a pour longtemps été un problème majeur de santé publique, menaçant le développement socio-économique et la trajectoire de transformation structurelle qui a fermement placé notre pays sur la voie du développement durable. Toutefois, grâce à l’appropriation nationale, à la responsabilité partagée et à la solidarité mondiale, nous pourrons vaincre le paludisme pour de bon ! ».

Sa Majesté, le Roi Mswati III du Royaume d’Eswatini, Président de l’Alliance des dirigeants africains contre le paludisme a affirmé :

« Cette campagne renforce encore notre engagement à éliminer le paludisme en Afrique et nous appelons à présent l’ensemble de la population, à tous les niveaux, à œuvrer avec nous pour libérer notre continent de ce fléau. J’exhorte tous les gouvernements à investir davantage dans la lutte contre cette maladie. Cependant, le succès de cette campagne dépendra des partenariats et de la collaboration entre les secteurs et au sein de la population, car en tant qu’entité gouvernementale, nous ne pourrons gagner la lutte contre le paludisme si nous l’affrontons seuls ».

Cette campagne propose des outils simples visant à renforcer le rôle des communautés au sein des efforts d’élimination du paludisme, continuer à engager les dirigeants afin qu’ils placent la lutte contre le paludisme au sommet de leurs agendas. De plus, cette campagne a pour dessein de forger de nouveaux partenariats à même d’accroître les financements dans la lutte contre le paludisme et afin d’améliorer l’accès pour tous, aux moyens de traitement, de diagnostic et de prévention de cette maladie mortelle. Les ressources sur la campagne sont disponibles auprès de la boîte à outils via le lien www.zeromalaria.africa.

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Notes aux rédacteurs

Pour obtenir un interview ou plus d’informations sur la campagne et son lancement, prière de contacter le bureau de presse du Partenariat RBM à Grayling à RBMPartnership@grayling.com ou au +44 (0) 20 3861 3747.

Autres citations des portes-parole :

Moussa Faki Mahamat, président de la Commission de l’Union africaine :

« De nombreux pays africains mettent en œuvre la Stratégie africaine en matière de santé pour renforcer leurs systèmes de santé et assurer une couverture de santé universelle à leurs populations. Une solidarité mondiale significative, une responsabilité partagée, des partenariats multisectoriels à divers niveaux et un rôle accru des organisations communautaire ont été des facteurs clés ayant permis de favoriser des changements positifs dans la lutte contre les trois maladies épidémiques – sida, tuberculose et paludisme – sur le continent. Cependant, les efforts pour mettre fin au paludisme en Afrique sont à la croisée des chemins. Le Rapport 2017 sur le paludisme dans le monde a signalé que, pour la première fois depuis plus d’une décennie, les progrès dans la lutte contre le paludisme, sont au point mort, sur le continent africain. »

Dr. Kesete Admasu, PDG du Partenariat RBM pour en finir avec le paludisme :

« La plus grande menace à une lutte efficace contre le paludisme est l’inaction et la complaisance. Nous pouvons être la génération qui mettra fin à cette maladie débilitante. La campagne Zéro Palu ! Je m’engage vise à créer une coalition victorieuse pour l’élimination du paludisme dans tous les pays, en réunissant des partenaires de tous les secteurs. Zéro Palu ! Je m’engage, vous vous engagez, nous nous engageons tous ! »

Son Excellence Madame Aïssata Issoufou Mahamadou, Première Dame de la République du Niger :

« Pour atteindre l’élimination du paludisme en Afrique, la prise de conscience collective est plus que nécessaire et résolument urgente. Je salue l’initiative « Zéro Palu ! Je m’engage » et encourage tout un chacun à rejoindre le mouvement pour qu’ensemble, nous puissions surmonter ce fléau ».

Joy Phumaphi, Secrétaire Exécutive de l’Alliance des dirigeants africains contre le paludisme (ALMA) :

« Zéro Palu ! Je m’engage c’est exactement le type des meilleures pratiques, dirigées et prises en main par l'Afrique, qui permettront d’accélérer notre progrès vers l’élimination du paludisme ».

À propos du Partenariat RBM pour en finir avec le paludisme

Le Partenariat RBM pour en finir avec le paludisme est la plus grande plate-forme mondiale d’action coordonnée contre le paludisme. Initialement créé sous le nom de Partenariat Roll Back Malaria (RBM) en 1998, il mobilise les efforts pour l’action et les ressources et forge un consensus entre les partenaires. Ce Partenariat comprend plus de 500 partenaires, dont des pays impaludés, leurs partenaires de développement bilatéraux et multilatéraux, le secteur privé, des organisations non gouvernementales et communautaires, des fondations et des institutions de recherche et universitaires.

www.endmalaria.org

À propos de l’Union africaine

L’Union africaine est le fer de lance du développement et de l’intégration de l’Afrique, en étroite collaboration avec les États membres de l’Union africaine, les communautés économiques régionales et les citoyens africains. La vision de l’UA est celle d’une Afrique intégrée, prospère et pacifique, sous l’égide de ses propres citoyens et représentant une force dynamique sur la scène mondiale.
www.au.int

À propos de AIDS Watch Africa

Créé à l’occasion du Sommet spécial d’Abuja en 2001, AIDS Watch Africa (AWA) est un dispositif piloté par l’Afrique qui vise à inciter les dirigeants à agir et à mobiliser les ressources nécessaires pour lutter contre le sida, la tuberculose et le paludisme de manière efficace, durable et responsable.

www.aidswatchafrica.net

Working with partners to raise the profile of non-sewered sanitation and fecal sludge management in francophone Africa

Determined to touch as many people as possible, Speak Up Africa’s advocacy work includes building partnerships with organizations that share similar visions for sustainable development in Africa. This has included, since 2017, working with Niyel, a Dakar-based advocacy and public affairs organization, to extend our reach to more West African countries and support other public health advocates in launching sustainable and impactful sanitation campaigns.

The project, the West African Sanitation Policy and Advocacy Activator (WASPAA), funded by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, focuses on increasing access to and use of non-sewered sanitation (NSS) in three francophone countries (Senegal, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso), contributing to health, economic and gender equality outcomes for the region’s underserved.

Undertaking a three-tiered model as the cornerstone for accelerating results, Speak Up Africa and Niyel are using the WASPAA project to target direct improvement in the lives of people living in select urban centers, working towards an enabling policy environment at the national level and committing to strengthening non-sewered sanitation in Africa’s growing cities.

This has called for identifying immediate opportunities for scaling up and undertaking a detailed approach to accomplish the objectives of the project including:

●      Encourage the development of appropriate policies, regulations and institutional frameworks.

●      Identify, at the city, regional and country levels, partners to move governments and key stakeholders to implement fecal sludge management (FSM) solutions in addition to sewers.

●      Expand the role for the private sector in service delivery and treatment operations.

●      Build a portfolio of success in utilizing a viable resources and results approach with monitoring mechanisms.

●      Continue to press on harmonization and alignment issues, with a focus at the regional, country and community levels.

●      Intentionally look for opportunities to stress women empowerment at every level identified.

●      Aggressively leverage emerging experiences and lessons.

Embedded in these key approaches is the necessity for an astute political analysis of the region, an ability to spot opportunities for engagement, to move swiftly and to be able to be flexible in the strategies used for different targets in different contexts.

Additionally, to further meet the goals of the project, duties have been divided, to leverage the strengths and core expertise of both organizations, with Speak Up Africa taking the lead on activities pertaining to the engagement of regional associations, increasing media coverage of sanitation issues, raising the profile of NSS and FSM at the city level, and managing the Opportunity Fund, a new fund, proposed through the project, to support civil society organizations in their advocacy work.

Niyel will focus on creating and crystallizing a strong network of high level political and public influencers that will push the FSM agenda at the regional level, building the capacity of civil society organizations to help them develop regional strategies, and ensuring that at least three countries in West Africa establish a minimum set of urban sanitation policies with NSS and FSM guidelines that are inclusive and gender-sensitive.

Although, each organization will engage through the project on specific tasks, both Niyel and Speak Up Africa will work in full transparency, sharing information, to ensure the project is coherent and consistent.

Senegal’s National Office of Sanitation revels new vision for non-sewered sanitation across the country

In 2011, Senegal’s National Office of Sanitation (ONAS) set up a pilot program to better organize and restructure the country’s fecal sludge management (FSM) sector. On Thursday, 7 June, 2018, with a host of potential investment partners present, Lansana Gagny Sakho, Director General of ONAS, revealed the organization’s plan to scale the project through the establishment of a National Program for Sustainable Development of Non-Sewered Sanitation in Senegal (PNDDAA).

The program and vision, defined by the state of Senegal, takes into account, at the same time, the universality, equity and sustainability of resources and the sanitation systems, in accordance with the vision of the Senegal Emergent Plan.

Through the PNDDAA program, ONAS aims to increase the involvement of the private sector with the ambition of making non-sewered sanitation one of the essential pillars for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which in section 6.2 call for access to equitable sanitation and hygiene services for all, and an end to open defecation, paying particular attention to the needs of women and girls, and people in a vulnerable situation.

The National Program for Sustainable Development of Non-Sewered Sanitation in Senegal (PNDDAA), is focused on four major strategies:

●      Legal guidance with the harmonization and adoption of complementary texts;

●      Guidance answering the needs of all segments of the population;

●      Financial guidelines for the improvement of programming and budget execution, and investments from key actors;

●      Guidelines for Information, Education and Communication (IEC) for adoption by the population of good hygiene and sanitation practices, and the acceptance of sanitation innovation.

The main objective of the new vision is to create a harmonized and inclusive framework for the financing of the non-sewered sanitation sector through appropriate traditional and innovative mechanisms.

ONAS supports a thoroughly inclusive vision involving the participation of multiple stakeholders. Keeping key donors, banks, civil society organizations, sector institutions, influencers, champions, people working in the sector (pit emptiers, private service providers), and policymakers aligned with Senegal’s strategy deployment will play a vital role in making non-sewered sanitation a sustainable utility service for all

 Lansana Gagny Sakho, Director General of Senegal’s National Office of Sanitation (ONAS), presented the organizations new vision for sanitation that will be scaled across the country.

Lansana Gagny Sakho, Director General of Senegal’s National Office of Sanitation (ONAS), presented the organizations new vision for sanitation that will be scaled across the country.

 Hamadou Boucari (left) and Dr. Ing. Cheikh Sidia Toure from Cabinet EDE, a sanitation service provider, participated in the recent informational meeting and reviewed the new ONAS vision.

Hamadou Boucari (left) and Dr. Ing. Cheikh Sidia Toure from Cabinet EDE, a sanitation service provider, participated in the recent informational meeting and reviewed the new ONAS vision.

L’ONAS dévoile sa nouvelle vision de l’assainissement autonome à travers le pays

En 2011, l’ONAS a lancé un programme pilote afin de mieux organiser et de restructurer le secteur des boues de vidange du pays. Aujourd’hui, avec la présence de potentiels investisseurs, Lansana Gagny Sakho, Directeur général de l’ONAS, a révélé le plan de mise à l’échelle du projet à travers la mise en place d’un Programme national de développement durable de l’assainissement autonome (PNDDAA).

Le programme, défini par l’État du Sénégal, prend en compte, à la fois, l’universalité, l’équité et la durabilité des ressources et des systèmes d’assainissement, conformément à la vision du Plan Sénégal Émergent.

A travers ce programme, l’ONAS vise une plus grande implication du secteur privé avec l’ambition de faire de l’assainissement autonome un des piliers essentiels à l’atteinte des Objectifs de Développement Durable (ODD), qui en leur point 6.2 visent à assurer l’accès de tous, dans des conditions équitables, à des services d’assainissement et d’hygiène adéquats et mettre fin à la défécation en plein air, en accordant une attention particulière aux besoins des femmes, des filles et des personnes en situation vulnérable.

Le PNDDAA se concentre sur quatre grandes orientations stratégiques :

-       Orientations juridiques à travers l’harmonisation de textes et l’adoption de textes complémentaires ;

-       Orientations répondant aux besoins de toutes les franges de la population ;

-       Orientations financières à travers l’amélioration de la programmation et de l’exécution budgétaire et la contribution des principaux acteurs dans les investissements.

-       Orientations en information-éducation-communication (IEC) pour l’adoption par les populations des bonnes pratiques d’hygiène et d’assainissement et l’acceptation des technologies d’assainissement.

L’objectif principal de cette nouvelle vision est de créer un cadre harmonisé et inclusif pour le financement du secteur de l’assainissement autonome à travers des mécanismes traditionnels et innovants adéquats.

L’ONAS soutient une vision globale impliquant la participation de multiple parties prenantes. Garder les bailleurs clé, les banques, les organisations de la société civile, les institutions, les influenceurs, les champions, les personnes travaillant dans le secteur (vidangeurs, opérateurs du secteur privé) et les responsables politiques alignés à la stratégie de déploiement du Sénégal jouera un rôle déterminant pour faire de l’assainissement autonome un service durable pour tous.

 Lansana Gagny Sakho, Directeur général de l’ONAS, présentant aux organisations la nouvelle vision de l’assainissement qui sera mise à l’échelle à travers le pays.

Lansana Gagny Sakho, Directeur général de l’ONAS, présentant aux organisations la nouvelle vision de l’assainissement qui sera mise à l’échelle à travers le pays.

 -       Hamadou Boucari (gauche) et Dr. Ing. Cheikh Sidia Touré du Cabinet EDE, modérateur de l’atelier, participant à la récente réunion d’information et relisant la nouvelle vision de l’ONAS.

-       Hamadou Boucari (gauche) et Dr. Ing. Cheikh Sidia Touré du Cabinet EDE, modérateur de l’atelier, participant à la récente réunion d’information et relisant la nouvelle vision de l’ONAS.

Le continent africain a encore besoin de plus de partenaires pour faire face aux maladies tropicales négiglées

La lutte contre les Maladies Tropicales Négligées (MTN) constitue la troisième grande révolution en santé publique en Afrique. Beaucoup d’initiatives dont l’atteinte des objectifs fixés et qui aura des conséquences inestimables sur le développement du continent africain, sont en cours. C’est à l’image du Projet spécial élargi pour l'Élimination des Maladies tropicales négligées (ESPEN). Le chef d’équipe, Dr. Maria Rebollo Polo, revient de fond en comble dans cette interview, sur ce projet qui, à terme espère à transformer les MTN en Maladies Tropicales Éliminées voire Éradiquées (MTE).

Bonjour Dr. Maria Rebollo Polo. Vous êtes la Coordonnatrice du Projet ESPEN. Est-ce que vous pouvez nous parler des grandes lignes de ce projet mis en place pour lutter contre les Maladies Tropicales Négligées au sein de l’Organisation mondiale de la santé ?

Le Projet spécial élargi pour l'Élimination des Maladies tropicales négligées (ESPEN) est un projet quinquennal lancé en mai 2016 par le Bureau régional de l'Organisation mondiale de la santé pour l'Afrique (OMS/AFRO). Nous avons pour objectif d’accélérer le contrôle et l'élimination des cinq maladies tropicales négligées pouvant faire l'objet d'une chimiothérapie préventive sur le continent africain (PC-MTN), à savoir l'onchocercose, la filariose lymphatique, la schistosomiase, les vers intestinaux et le trachome.

Les Maladies tropicales négligées (MTN) sont des pathologies qui touchent plus de 1,4 milliard personnes et sont à l’origine de plus de 534 000 décès par an à travers le monde. Très répandues dans les régions tropicales, avec notamment 39% des cas en Afrique, les MTN ont un impact énorme sur l'espérance de vie, l'éducation et les opportunités économiques des individus affectés et de leurs communautés.

Ainsi, nous fournissons aux Programmes nationaux de lutte contre les MTN à travers l’Afrique, un appui technique et financier. Nous nous assurons qu’ils disposent des données, de l'expertise et des ressources financières dont ils ont besoin pour accélérer la lutte contre ces maladies en coordonnant les partenaires et en fournissant une assistance technique.

Pour pouvoir atteindre les objectifs de notre feuille de route au niveau de l’OMS, ESPEN s’est fixé quatre priorités stratégiques.

La première c’est de pouvoir atteindre une couverture géographique de 100%. Faire de sorte qu’à travers le continent africain, 100% des populations qui en ont besoin ait accès au traitement contre les Maladies Tropicales Négligées. Ce qui nous a permis de faire une certaine analyse au niveau des pays pour la mise à l’échelle des interventions.

La deuxième priorité d’ESPEN, c’est de pouvoir aider les pays à atteindre l’élimination de ces cinq maladies, notamment à travers la mise en place d’un système de surveillance performant et l’obtention de la validation de l’OMS à chacune des étapes clés.

La troisième c’est d’améliorer la qualité des données au niveau des pays pour leur permettre de prendre des décisions éclairées basées sur des données fiables.

La quatrième priorité stratégique c’est d’aider les pays à faire une distribution effective des médicaments qui sont donnés par des firmes pharmaceutiques. ESPEN veut renforcer les chaines d’approvisionnement pour que les malades puissent avoir accès à tous les médicaments possibles.   

ESPEN est caractérisé par un partenariat public-privé, comment appréciez-vous l’apport du secteur privé dans la réalisation des objectifs d’élimination d’ici 2030 ?

Ces dernières années, notre lutte longue et difficile contre les MTN a pris un tournant important. En 2012, une coalition d'organisations philanthropiques comme la Fondation Bill & Melinda Gates, de pays donateurs comme les États-Unis et le Royaume Uni, de gouvernements de pays endémiques et de laboratoires pharmaceutiques a signé la Déclaration de Londres, s'engageant à contrôler, éliminer ou éradiquer 10 MTN d'ici janvier 2020. Simultanément, les plus grandes compagnies pharmaceutiques, y compris GlaxoSmithKline, Merck KGaA, Merck & Co, Eisai, Pfizer et Johnson & Johnson se sont engagées à donner tous les médicaments nécessaires pour atteindre ces objectifs audacieux, pour une somme d’environ 17,8 milliards de dollars américains.

La création d’ESPEN fait suite à cet engouement au niveau international. L’OMS a jugé nécessaire de mettre sur pied ce partenariat public-privé pour assurer la coordination des efforts.

La chimiothérapie préventive est un traitement révolutionnaire qui consiste à atteindre chaque année des communautés entières avec des médicaments sûrs et efficaces pour prévenir les MTN. Le contrôle et l'élimination des PC-MTN coûtent moins de 0,50 dollars américains par personne et par an, tout en offrant un énorme retour sur investissement tant pour les gouvernements des pays affectés que pour les partenaires techniques et financiers.

En marge de la dernière Assemblée générale de la santé célébrée à Genève il y a quelques semaines, le président de Merck, Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp a organisé un évènement pour célébrer le 350e anniversaire du Groupe Merck et notre progrès collectif contre la schistosomiase. En 2012, Merck s'est engagé à faire don de 25 à 250 millions de comprimés de Praziquantel à l'OMS chaque année jusqu'à l'élimination de la schistosomiase. Avec ce type de leadership de la part de Merck et des autres leaders pharmaceutiques qui ont participé à la Déclaration de Londres, nous avons l'opportunité de progresser vers l'élimination des MTN.

L’action d’ESPEN s’inscrit donc à part entière dans ce partenariat public-privé. Les dons de médicaments sont une grande victoire, mais il est essentiel de s'assurer que ces médicaments atteignent ceux qui en ont le plus besoin, même dans les zones difficiles d'accès.

Ce projet va boucler ses deux ans d’exercice. Est-ce que vous pouvez nous faire un bilan à mi-parcours ? Et nous dire si vous êtes sur la bonne voie pour atteindre les objectifs fixés au départ ?

Grâce à un partenariat dynamique, nous avons pu accomplir de nombreux progrès dans la lutte contre les 5 maladies citées plus haut.

Rien qu’en 2017, ESPEN a fourni un appui opérationnel et technique à 32 pays à travers le continent. Nous avons pu atteindre et administrer des traitements préventifs à 30 millions de personnes supplémentaires. Grâce à une analyse de la chaîne d'approvisionnement dans sept pays dont le Nigéria, l’Éthiopie et l’Ouganda, 132 millions de comprimés ont été récupérés.

Sachant l’importance de la maitrise des données dans notre contexte de contrôle et d’élimination des MTN, ESPEN a complété un exercice sans précédent, qui a consisté à cartographier la répartition des maladies à travers les pays, y compris au niveau sous-national. Nous avons ainsi mis en ligne un portail (http://espen.afro.who.int ) reprenant toutes les données collectées afin de donner aux Ministères de la santé et aux autres partenaires, les informations nécessaires pour une prise de décision découlant à des investissements intelligents pour le contrôle et l’élimination des MTN.

Aucune de ces réalisations n'aurait été possible sans le soutien actif, l'engagement et la participation de tous les membres de notre partenariat : les ministères de la santé, les bailleurs, les partenaires d'exécution, les institutions académiques et la coalition pour la recherche opérationnelle sur les MTN (COR-MTN).

Mais nous travaillons à trouver des moyens pour l’élimination des Maladies Tropicales Négligées. Le continent africain a encore besoin de plus de partenaires. Pour vraiment atteindre les objectifs fixés, il faut s’assurer à avoir plus de partenaires pour trouver d’autres opportunités. Qu’ils s’agissent des partenaires du Moyen Orient ou du continent asiatique qui veulent appuyer ESPEN à accélérer l’élimination de ces MTN.

L’une des réalisations clés de ces deux dernières années, c’est qu’ESPEN est parvenu à asseoir une appropriation au niveau des pays. Le programme a aidé les gouvernements à développer des plans nationaux stratégiques. Il les accompagne pour avoir une vision claire devant leur permettre d’avancer vers l’élimination de ces maladies.

L’une des grandes réalisations a été de s’assurer à ce qu’ESPEN puisse aider les pays africains à atteindre 100% de couverture en termes de prévention. C’est le volet stratégique du projet. Il y a des zones qui ne bénéficient pas de traitement et de prévention donc il faut faire de sorte que les pays puissent mobiliser les ressources nécessaires pour assure une bonne couverture. C’est grâce à cela que nous avons pu atteindre trente millions de personnes supplémentaires qui n’auraient pas été touchées par ces interventions de traitement et de prévention sans l’appui d’ESPEN.

Quels sont les éventuels défis auxquels le projet ESPEN et les pays africains sont confrontés dans la lutte contre les Maladies Tropicales Négligées ?

Outre les questions de logistique et de coordination des efforts, je dirais que notre défi majeur consiste à faire prendre conscience de l’importance d’arriver à une élimination totale de ces maladies.

Nous ne pouvons aspirer à atteindre les Objectifs de développement durable (ODD) sans avoir mis un terme à ce fléau humain et économique que représentent les MTN.

Ces maladies portent le nom de « négligées » pour une bonne raison. Elles ne tuent pas autant que d’autres pathologies et par conséquent, dans notre contexte de raréfaction des ressources, elles sont mises de côté.

Pourtant, l’élimination des MTN fait partie intégrante de notre lutte pour une Afrique saine et prospère. Nous estimons que si nous suivons la feuille de route de l’OMS, nous arriverons à notre objectif et protègeront les 600 millions de personnes qui sont exposées à ces maladies en Afrique.

Pour accélérer l’élimination des maladies tropicales négligées, les gouvernements africains doivent s’approprier cette lutte.  Afin d’arriver à des programmes de lutte contre les MTN efficients et durables, il nous faudra, entre autres, relever le défi de mobilisation des ressources financières au niveau national et international.

Parallèlement aux activités d’ESPEN, comment évaluez-vous le dispositif de lutte contre MTN actuellement en place en Afrique, précisément contre les cinq MTN qui sont les plus fréquentes dans le continent ?

Nous observons un accroissement considérable de l’intérêt porté aux MTN, qui se matérialise par une mobilisation des États endémiques pour le contrôle et l’élimination de ces maladies tropicales négligées.

Cette mobilisation des États se traduit par l’inscription de la lutte contre les MTN dans les agendas de rencontres internationales à l’instar de la conférence des ministres de la santé de l’Union Africaine tenue à Addis Abeba en avril 2013 ou encore la mention des MTN comme étant une priorité dans le cadre du Plan Stratégique 2014-2020 de l’Organisation Ouest Africaine pour la santé. En janvier 2018, un indicateur sur l’indice de couverture relatif au traitement de masse contre les MTN a été intégré à la feuille de suivi de ALMA (l’Alliance des Chefs d’États Africains contre le Paludisme) et présenté lors du dernier Sommet de l’Union Africaine.

Au niveau des pays, des dispositions ont été prises à plusieurs niveaux. Il s’agit de l’érection de programmes nationaux de lutte contre les MTN, la mise en œuvre des interventions ciblant l’élimination des PC-MTN telles que les campagnes de distribution de médicaments de masse aux populations exposées.

A cela s’ajoutent l’élaboration des plans stratégiques de lutte contre ces maladies et l’orientation vers une approche multisectorielle de la réponse aux MTN.

Cette tendance d’harmonisation du dispositif de réponse aux PC-MTN des pays endémiques est un gage de réussite et d’atteinte de l’objectif d’éradication de ces maladies.

Estimez-vous que nous sommes assez outillés pour atteindre l’élimination de ces maladies sur le continent africain ?

Des exemples comme le Togo qui est le premier pays en Afrique sub-saharienne à éliminer la filariose lymphatique comme problème de santé publique ou encore le Ghana, qui est sur le point d’éliminer le trachome, nous montrent que nous en sommes capables. A travers le continent, des pays comme le Sénégal, ont atteint les niveaux de contrôle nécessaires pour arrêter les traitements de masse.

Par ailleurs, il faut souligner que les PC-MTN sont aussi celles qui infligent le plus lourd fardeau à nos pays. Nous avons une réelle opportunité de mettre un terme à ces 5 maladies car les traitements sont disponibles et gratuits. Il nous faut à présent nous assurer que nous faisons le nécessaire pour que les populations aient effectivement accès à ces traitements et que nous mettions enfin un terme à la transmission. A cet effet, d’avantage de ressources financières seront nécessaires tout comme la conduite de recherche opérationnelle pour l’élaboration de formules pédiatriques ou encore de stratégies efficaces pour éliminer l’onchocercose notamment.

Si vous aviez un message à lancer à toutes ces populations vivant dans des zones à risque, quel serait-il ?

L’élimination des maladies tropicales négligées est à notre portée, mais elle ne sera possible que grâce à l’implication de communautés informées et autonomes. Les médicaments contre ces cinq maladies sont disponibles et sont distribuées gratuitement par des membres de nos communautés à travers tout le continent.  Nous sommes à la croisée des chemins et il important que nous investissions dans l’éducation de nos communautés afin qu’elles s’approprient cette lutte. Les MTN peuvent être évitées à condition que les communautés aient accès aux bonnes informations et aux moyens de prévention tels que les moustiquaires imprégnées. Les familles sont des acteurs clés lorsqu’il s’agit de passer le message à travers les communautés et pour mettre un terme aux MTN pour notre génération tout comme pour les générations futures.

Changing perceptions around menstrual hygiene management and why it’s important

Celebrated worldwide every 28 May, Menstrual Hygiene Day raises awareness about menstrual hygiene management (MHM) and the important role it plays in improving the wellbeing of women and girls. Throughout the year, Speak Up Africa prioritizes MHM as a key focus area for the organization, impacting how menstrual health is talked about and advocated for across West Africa.

 Young women from Soeur de Coeur participate in a menstrual hygiene management workshop at the Speak Up Africa Lab. The workshop teaches participants about the diversity of menstrual products available to help them manage their periods well.

Young women from Soeur de Coeur participate in a menstrual hygiene management workshop at the Speak Up Africa Lab. The workshop teaches participants about the diversity of menstrual products available to help them manage their periods well.

According to a 2015 report from United Nations Population Division, fifty-one percent of the global female population is of reproductive age. This means that more than 1.8 billion women and girls around the world are in need of information, products and adequate sanitation facilities to manage their monthly periods.

However, in many societies, cultural stigmas, myths and taboos are associated with menstruation. Menstruating women and girls are thought to be contaminated and impure. They are often forced into seclusion, prevented from participating in daily activities, have limited or no access to appropriate toilets and handwashing facilities, and are often subjected to feelings of shame and embarrassment. This directly affects their self-esteem, health and education, and continues to strengthen gender inequalities.

In sub-Saharan Africa, one girl out of ten does not go to school during her menstrual cycle, which corresponds to about 20% of school time over a year, with some dropping out of school completely after getting their first period. Missing school can translate into lower educational outcomes for girls, which can have lifelong implications. Despite this, menstrual hygiene management (MHM) continues to be a low priority, ignored by many in the water, sanitation, reproductive health and education sectors.

In 2016, in response to the limited work being done to help women, girls, and even men, understand the importance of MHM, Speak Up Africa (SUA) created the “No Taboo Periods” campaign, which focuses on helping everyone in the community understand the role MHM plays in enabling women and girls to reach their full potential.

“As an organization, our job is to ‘speak up’ and this subject matter is close to our hearts. There is a lot to be done, but we want to create a new normal around menstrual hygiene management. Giving woman and girls access to reliable information, synthesizing men around the topic, and encouraging policymakers to prioritize MHM are key to improving the health, education and living conditions of women and girls. We want to be a part of keeping MHM at the top of both social and political agendas,” says Yacine Djibo, Executive Director of Speak Up Africa on why the campaign is necessary, despite the challenges that come with going against traditions. “Girls have a right to know how to manage their menstruation. Women have the power to make their own decisions.”

Breaking the Silence

Since its launch, “No Taboo Periods” has continued to “break the silence” around MHM and uses education as the main tool for having countercultural conversations around menstrual hygiene and towards changing perceptions. By advocating for the inclusion of MHM in WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) policy discussions, creating learning materials that help children and adults understand the realities of MHM, supporting the construction of gender-friendly toilets, and providing workshops and trainings for students, teachers and others in the community, Speak Up Africa has maximized its reach, touching more than 11,000 people in 2017 alone.

 Gender Specialist Selly Ba delivers menstrual hygiene management trainings and workshops for Speak Up Africa. Here she uses one of the MHM tools developed by SUA during a training for teachers at l’Ecole Ibra Seck in Rufisque, Senegal

Gender Specialist Selly Ba delivers menstrual hygiene management trainings and workshops for Speak Up Africa. Here she uses one of the MHM tools developed by SUA during a training for teachers at l’Ecole Ibra Seck in Rufisque, Senegal

Recent trainings and workshops have been focused on educating diverse groups of community members, including male and female high school students at a special International Women’s Day event in Senegal’s Thies region; Special Olympic coaches, who, during their workshop, were given the skills they need to facilitate MHM awareness activities for people living with intellectual disabilities; and a mostly male teaching staff at l’Ecole Ibra Seck, a primary school in Rufisque, Senegal.

At Ibra Seck, Speak Up Africa worked with administrators and staff to exemplify why starting young with good hygiene practices has a lasting effect and supported the construction of improved toilet facilities by request of Ndioro Nidaye, Coordinator of the Francophonie’s Network for Gender Equality, who was once a student at the school.

“It is important to undertake this type of project in schools, and specifically with this age group, because it fills an economic, social and especially human gap by facilitating girls’ contribution to the dynamics of wealth creation and growth,” remarked Prof. Ndiaye. “I believe it is in fact a continuation of our struggle for the rights of women, especially girls, to protect their rights to privacy and to live in dignity.”

Additionally, through the “No Taboo Periods” campaign, SUA has been able to use the Speak Up Africa Lab in Pikine, a Dakar suburb, as a safe haven for women, girls, boys and men to freely exchange on issues related to MHM. The location of the lab also allowed SUA to work closely with the Pikine Health District, ensuring MHM awareness activities are reflected in the health district’s strategy and shared with the Ministry of Health.

MHM and the SDGs

Menstrual hygiene education, reliable handwashing facilities, and private and safe washrooms are  important factors that enable girls to attend school, and help meet the targets of both Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4), ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education, and SDG6, ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation, but taking a comprehensive approach to MHM also meets several other of the SDGs.

 One of the MHM education tools developed by Speak Up Africa for the “No Taboo Periods” campaign. The brochure simplifies hygiene practices including highlighting proper hand and reusable pad washing and menstrual product disposal.

One of the MHM education tools developed by Speak Up Africa for the “No Taboo Periods” campaign. The brochure simplifies hygiene practices including highlighting proper hand and reusable pad washing and menstrual product disposal.

One of the most obvious is SDG5, achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls. Girls who attend school and participate in classes regularly, focus on creating better lives for themselves, families and communities. Removing barriers around menstrual hygiene helps them become more empowered.

Poor menstrual hygiene practices also impact the health of women and girls, who may contract infections or reproductive system diseases from using old rags or cloths when affordable and hygienic menstrual products are not accessible; and the environment when menstrual waste is disposed of through latrines and toilets for discretion. In this case, MHM education helps to attain SDG3, ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being, and SDG12, ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns.

Advocating for a shift in mindset, promoting better sanitation and hygiene practices, and doing more to better understand the challenges around menstrual hygiene management are all interlinked, and necessary for improved and proper menstrual hygiene products, information and infrastructure. 

Mettre à l’échelle l’innovation pour répondre aux défis de l’assainissement au Sénégal

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L’Office National d’Assainissement du Sénégal a mis en place le Programme de structuration du marché des boues de vidange afin d’améliorer la filière des boues de vidange et d’assurer sa rentabilité dans les régions péri-urbaines de Dakar, capitale du Sénégal.

Depuis 2011, le Gouvernement du Sénégal s’est concentré sur l’élaboration d’une chaîne de valeur durable et inclusive. L’ONAS a introduit un prototype d’Omni Processeur capable de transformer les boues de vidange en énergie, eau et cendres ; a établit un centre d’appel qui connecte directement les entreprises de vidange aux ménages, contribuant ainsi à l’élimination de la vidange manuelle ; a créé un fonds de garantie dont l’objectif est d’aider les opérateurs à obtenir des crédits pour la réparation de leurs camions et pour se conformer aux exigences liées à la certification ; a mis en place un système de délégation transférant la maintenance et l’exploitation des infrastructures de gestion des boues de vidange à des opérateurs privés, en se basant sur leurs capacités financières et techniques, et sur leur respect des normes environnementales.

Après sept ans de mise en œuvre, l’ONAS prépare la mise à l’échelle du programme, dans l’optique d’améliorer les conditions de vie des populations des habitants des zones urbaines des autres régions du Sénégal. Convaincu que l’assainissement autonome est un pilier essentiel pour l’atteinte des Objectifs de développement durables (ODD), l’ONAS s’efforce de garantir de l’accès de tous, dans des conditions équitables, à des services d’assainissement et d’hygiène adéquats et de mettre fin à la défécation en plein air, en accordant une attention particulière aux besoins des femmes, des filles et des personnes en situation vulnérable.

Pour des informations supplémentaires, veuillez contacter onas@onas.sn.

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Scaling innovation to address sanitation challenges in Senegal

The National Sanitation Utility of Senegal (ONAS) set up the Program for the Structuring of the Fecal Sludge Market to improve the fecal sludge industry and ensure its profitability in peri-urban areas of Dakar, Senegal’s capital city.

Since 2011, the Government of Senegal has focused on creating an inclusive and sustainable value chain. ONAS has introduced an Omni Processor prototype capable of converting fecal sludge into energy, water and ashes; established a call center that directly connects emptying operators to households and helps eliminate manual emptying; created a guarantee fund that helps operators access funding for truck repairs and licensing compliance requirements; and set-up a delegation system that transferred fecal sludge management facility maintenance and operating to private operators based on their financials, technical capacities and environmental requirements.

After seven years of implementation, ONAS is preparing to scale the program to other regions, thus improving the living conditions of populations in urban centers across Senegal. Convinced that on-site sanitation is one of the key pillars for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ONAS strives to reach equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, while paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations.

For additional information, please contact onas@onas.sn.

The World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa is hiring a Team Leader!

IDENTIFICATION
Team Leader, Neglected Tropical Diseases
Grade: P5
Primary location: Congo, Brazzaville
Contract Duration: 2 years
Contractual Arrangement: Fixed-Term Appointment

OBJECTIVES OF THE PROGRAMME
To reduce the burden and negative impact of communicable diseases on health and on the social and economic well-being of all people in the WHO/AFRO Region, through the prevention, control, eradication and/or elimination of selected Neglected Tropical Diseases. To support governments' NTD Programmes in coordination with national and international efforts for scaling-up NTD interventions to sustain the control, elimination and eradication of Neglected Tropical Diseases.

DESCRIPTION OF DUTIES
The incumbent is assigned all or part of the following responsibilities which are performed according to the needs and agenda:

  • To initiate and lead the development of a strategic vision aimed at supporting countries in the development and implementation of sustainable regional strategies and policies to accelerate activities and interventions to overcome the health, economic and social impacts of NTDs;
  • To provide technical expertise to countries and coordinate the development of various NTD guidelines and tools for planning, implementing and monitoring and evaluation of NTD control, elimination and eradication projects and programmes which contribute to the reduction of NTD morbidity and mortality in the African Region;
  • To provide leadership and strategic coordination for the monitoring and evaluation of progress in the implementation of global and regional action plans on prevention, control, elimination and eradication of NTDs ensuring successes, lessons learnt and best practices are documented and shared to facilitate remedial actions, innovative problem solving and enhanced effectiveness in the fight against NTDs.
  • To proactively advise on, coordinate and promote operational research to support evidence-based decision-making and appropriate future approaches for NTD control to improve lives, promote economic productivity, and build expertise at the community level;
  • To identify, develop and strengthen strategic partnerships and advocate for continued investment and drug donation partnerships in NTD control in the African Region and increased resource mobilization for control, elimination and eradication of NTDs;
  • To proactively advise and ensure participation in the identification of regional and national capacity gaps in NTD to initiate and implement training to strengthen health staff and Member State skill-sets.
  • To closely collaborate with the Director on the strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation of the CDS cluster by leading the planning, implementation, monitoring and review of NTD objectives and outputs and contributing to regular revisions of the Cluster's strategic plan.
  • To lead and directly manage all staff in the NTD programme area, and relevant ISTs, including articulating the vision and goals of the Programme and the coordination, monitoring and approval of work plans and mission requests.In agreement with the Cluster Director oversee the formulation of objectives for Performance Management and Development System (PMDS) for all staff in NTD ensuring accurate and timely appraisals and any required follow-up actions take place.
  • To perform other related responsibilities as assigned, including replacing and backstopping for others as required.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS

Education
Essential: Advanced medical degree and a postgraduate degree in epidemiology, public health or communicable disease control.
Desirable: Specialized training or a degree in Management.

Experience
Essential:

  • At least ten years' experience in the area of prevention and control of communicable diseases and coordinating disease control programmes, of which at least five years at the international level.Field experience, preferably in the African region.
  • Extensive experience overseeing strategic planning with a results focused approach to the management of disease control programmes.
  • Proven experience of implementing NTD prevention, control, elimination and/or eradication activities at country and/or regional level.

Desirable: Experience with intergovernmental agencies, the UN System or WHO and knowledge of national, regional and global partnerships and networks.

SKILLS

  • Demonstrated expertise and managerial skills in epidemiological and socio-behavioural aspects of communicable diseases;
  • Sound track record in planning, monitoring and evaluation of various aspects of NTD prevention, control and/ or elimination and eradication;
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills and the ability to write in a clear and concise manner;
  • Demonstrated ability to provide clear direction and technical, authoritative advice and guidance to team members, colleagues, peers, governments and multiple stakeholders and partners, taking into account internal priorities and capacity and broader political and resource-limited contexts;
  • Strong interpersonal skills with ability to promote consensus, communicate progress and results, and/or take remedial action in a proactive manner, while ensuring effective work practices and ethics;
  • Proven skills in negotiating, developing and nurturing partnerships at all levels including for resource mobilization; Diplomacy, tact and courtesy.

WHO COMPETENCIES
Producing results
Ensuring the effective use of resources
Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond
Communication
Teamwork

USE OF LANGUAGE SKILLS
Essential: Expert knowledge of English. Expert knowledge of French.
Desirable: The above language requirements are interchangeable.

REMUNERATION
WHO salaries for staff in the Professional category are calculated in US dollars. The remuneration for the above position comprises an annual base salary starting at USD 85,543 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance, as applicable), a variable post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station, and currently amounts to USD 4170 per month for the duty station indicated above. Other benefits include 30 days of annual leave, allowances for dependent family members, home leave, and an education grant for dependent children.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • This vacancy notice may be used to fill other similar positions at the same grade level
  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
  • A written test may be used as a form of screening.
  • In the event that your candidature is retained for an interview, you will be required to provide, in advance, a scanned copy of the degree(s)/diploma(s)/certificate(s) required for this position. WHO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU)/United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed through the link: http://www.whed.net/. Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and will require individual review.
  • Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to WHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and Manual. - For information on WHO's operations please visit: http://www.who.int.
  • WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
  • WHO has a mobility policy which can be found at the following link: http://www.who.int/employment/en/. Candidates appointed to an international post with WHO are subject to mobility and may be assigned to any activity or duty station of the Organization throughout the world.
  • Applications from women and from nationals of non and underrepresented Member States are particularly encouraged.

To apply, please send the requested information to Lilian Wanjiku THAIRU: thairul@who.int

African Union Statement on the Occasion of the World Malaria Day

Eighteen years after the historic Abuja Declaration on Roll Back Malaria was signed by Heads of State and Government on 25 April 2000, African countries continue to bear the heaviest brunt of the Malaria epidemic with 90% of the disease burden on the continent. Recognising that Malaria is a huge public health threat African leaders declared 25 April as Malaria Day to ensure that the disease remains high at the policy and political agenda of the continent. Today as we join the community of nations to commemorate the World Malaria Day under the themeReady to Beat Malaria we are cognizant of the fact that ending Malaria is a collective responsibility that requires every individual in our communities to take concerted action and more broadly we need sustained partnerships.

Without renewed and urgent action, the major gains in the fight against malaria are under threat of being reversed. The African Union calls for greater investment and expanded coverage of proven tools that prevent, diagnose and treat malaria.

While there has been remarkable progress in responding to Malaria over the years the 2017 World malaria report highlights that progress has stalled globally.  The current pace is insufficient to achieve the bold and ambitious target to reduce malaria mortality rates to zero in all countries to at least 40% by 2020 as laid out in the Catalytic Framework to end AIDS, TB and Eliminate Malaria in Africa by 2030. African Union Member States should thus accelerate efforts towards universal access to malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment, transform malaria surveillance into a core intervention, harness innovation and expand research, strengthen the enabling environment and accelerate efforts towards elimination and malaria free status.

We cannot achieve the ambitious aspirations for socio-economic development, inclusive economic growth and Africa’s structural transformation Agenda by 2063 if we do not address the health agenda boldly. While we have many competing development priorities on the continent, African countries’ huge economic boom provides an opportunity for improved service delivery in the areas of health as well as education, power, water, sanitation and hygiene promotion.

African nations must renew their commitment and strengthen instruments to attain a malaria-free Africa by 2030 in line with the Catalytic Framework to end AIDS, TB and Eliminate Malaria in Africa by 2030 adopted by Heads of State and Government in at the July 2016 Summit.

Malaria alone is estimated to rob the continent of US$12 billion per year in lost productivity, investment and associated health care costs. It is therefore critical that we sustain the political commitment, as articulated in our continental Agenda 2063, to eliminate malaria in Africa by 2030 through increased domestic financing, increased access to life-saving malaria interventions, as well as more robust health systems. Malaria, a treatable and preventable disease, already costs the African continent’s economy US$ 12 billion per year in direct losses, and 1.3% of lost annual GDP growth.,

This July the African Union Heads of State and Government and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership will jointly launch the “Zero Malaria Starts with Me” a continent-wide public-facing campaign for a malaria-free Africa. The campaign will provide high-level engagement with government, private sector and civil society leaders: as part of the pan-African “Zero Malaria Starts with Me” campaign, leaders will be invited to publicly pledge their support to and make concrete commitments towards malaria elimination. It will advocate for an increase in external and domestic funding for malaria elimination, increase awareness and ownership at the community level and provide mission-critical support to malaria endemic countries.

The Africa CDC established in 2017 has seen increased support to all African countries to improve surveillance, emergency response, and prevention of infectious diseases. This includes addressing outbreaks, man-made and natural disasters, and public health events of regional and international concern. This new public health order in Africa will improve our response to malaria.

Her Excellency Mrs. Amira El Fadil
Commissioner for Social Affairs
African Union Commission

This World Malaria Day, we’re ready to beat malaria – are you?

Activities take place across the world to celebrate progress against malaria and encourage political, scientific and personal commitments to end the disease for good.

25th April marks the tenth World Malaria Day and the culmination of a month of worldwide action against the disease at a time when global malaria cases are on the rise for the first time in a decade.

With the rallying call ‘Ready to Beat Malaria’, the RBM Partnership to End Malaria is encouraging governments, health bodies, private sector companies and the public to accelerate progress against malaria, making this World Malaria Day even more vital.

“After a decade of success in pushing back malaria, it is on the rise again and will come back with a vengeance if we do not act decisively now,” warns Dr Kesete Admasu, CEO of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria.

Dr Kesete Admasu adds: “Half the world is still threatened by malaria, an entirely preventable, treatable disease which takes a child’s life every two minutes. Worldwide action is needed to meet the 2030 target of reducing malaria cases by at least 90%. We are delighted that more countries than ever, forty-four, are reporting less than 10,000 cases, however we must ensure we continue to press forward to end malaria – not only in high-burden nations but also those on track to eliminate the disease. It is our global responsibility to consign malaria to the history books.” 

Dr Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho, RBM Partnership Board Chair comments; “This month has seen world leaders come together to renew commitments to step up funding and speed up innovations against the disease. It has been a truly momentous time in the fight against malaria, but the battle is not yet won. We also need citizen and community action around the world to drive momentum towards reaching global targets.

“The malaria fight is at a crossroads and we could be the generation to end the disease for good. If we don’t seize the moment now, our hard-won gains will be lost. We’re ready to beat malaria – are you?”

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, says: “World Malaria Day reminds us of the challenges that remain. The declining trend in malaria cases and deaths has stalled and vital funding for malaria programmes has flat lined. If we continue along this path, we will lose the gains for which we have fought so hard.

“We call on countries and the global health community to close the critical gaps in the malaria response. Together we must ensure that no one is left behind in accessing lifesaving services to prevent, diagnose and treat malaria.”

World Malaria Day comes on the heels of two major malaria events – the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, where UK Prime Minister Theresa May and other Commonwealth leaders made a commitment to halve malaria burden across 53 member countries by 2023 in response to the London Malaria Summit. In addition, the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM) conference in Dakar brought together scientists and researchers from across Africa to share the latest innovations in the fight against the disease.  

The day has also inspired creativity from RBM Partnership partners worldwide, from music videos by the Nigeria National Malaria Elimination Program to Japanese traditional theatre performances from Malaria No More Japan. Other exciting events taking place across the globe to celebrate World Malaria Day include:

  • The RBM Partnership to End Malaria and the Swiss Malaria Group are hosting the 10th anniversary celebrations of World Malaria Day in Geneva on 25 April 2018. An inauguration of the World Malaria Day art installation on Place des Nations will take place followed by a high-level roundtable organised together with the Global Health Centre of the Graduate Institute.
  • There are numerous events happening in Nigeria, the country with the heaviest malaria burden in Africa, around World Malaria Day:
    • Ready to Beat Malaria in the State of Osun is running from 23 April to 25 April and will include a Continuing Medical Education (CME) program on the holistic approach to the management of malaria and community outreach to rural communities featuring health talks on malaria prevention strategies and malaria screenings.
    • The End Malaria World Festival promises to be the biggest ever malaria event in Nigeria and will take place at the convocation Arena Rivers State University Port-Harcourt on 24-25 April to create awareness on the increasing scourge of malaria in Nigeria and efforts at combating it.
    • The Nigerian Ministry of Health will convene 300 doctors in Lagos to discuss whether Nigeria is ready to beat malaria and how technology and nutrition can help fight the disease.
  • On 24 April, The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Malaria & Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in the UK hosted a parliamentary event at the Palace of Westminster to discuss the challenges and opportunities for tackling malaria across the Commonwealth.
  • On 25 April, in Port au Prince, Haiti, the First Lady of Haiti Martine Moïse and more than 300 government officials, civil society representatives, scientists and technical partners, including the Malaria Zero Alliance, are gathering to increase awareness of Haiti’s commitment to eliminating malaria by 2022.
  • In Washington D.C., USA, the Malaria roundtable (which includes UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets, Malaria No More, PATH, Friends of the Global Fight, ASTMH) is hosting a reception on Capitol Hill in conjunction with the Senate Caucus on Malaria and NTDs on 25 April. The reception will include comment from members of Congress, Administration officials and partners celebrating the U.S. impact in the malaria fight.
  • The John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, US is hosting a symposium on malaria drug development and resistance at the Bloomberg School of Public Health on 25 April.

###

About the RBM Partnership to End Malaria
The RBM Partnership to End Malaria is the largest global platform for coordinated action against malaria. Originally established as Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership in 1998, it mobilises for action and resources and forges consensus among partners. The Partnership is comprised of more than 500 partners, including malaria endemic countries, their bilateral and multilateral development partners, the private sector, nongovernmental and community-based organisations, foundations, and research and academic institutions.

More information: World Malaria Day 2018 factsheet.

Inside #MIM2018: A wrap-up of the week and moving forward to #EndMalaria

It was a busy week at the 7th Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM). The mass of information presented in panels, plenaries and symposia was diverse, with researchers, health workers, program managers, ministers and others working to eliminate malaria on the African continent and globally, learning, teaching and networking with each other.

Below are some of the highlights from the week including a look at recurring themes, side events, and exhibitions from the six-day conference that hosted more than 2,000 participants at the Abdou Diouf International Conference Center, Diamniadio, Senegal, from 15-20 April 2018.

 RBM Partnership to End Malaria CEO Dr. Kesete Admasu giving opening ceremony remarks on the first day of MIM.

RBM Partnership to End Malaria CEO Dr. Kesete Admasu giving opening ceremony remarks on the first day of MIM.

Sunday’s opening ceremony set the mood for conference goers, reminding them of what MIM has achieved so far and what to expect in the future. The acceptance of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) Award for Excellence by Senegalese President H.E. Macky Sall at the ceremony was a great opportunity to reaffirm the message that malaria elimination is possible.

The second plenary session, on Monday morning, led by Dr. Pedro L. Alonso, Director of the World Health Organization’s Global Malaria Programme, and Dr. Fred Binka, Coordinator of WHO’s Mekong Malaria Elimination Project, introduced statistics confirming that although it is possible 2020 elimination targets will be met in the 10 most endemic countries, morbidity and mortality targets may not be reached.

“Malaria can be diagnosed and is entirely treatable. No one should be dying of malaria. Wherever you are in the world there are drugs available,” affirmed Dr. Alonso as he discussed “Malaria Control and Management”.

The session also introduced a key theme that was widely discussed throughout the week: how to re-energize stagnant funding and replace outdated tools and behaviors. “We can have all the best tools, but without the proper behaviors we can’t get to our goals,” remarked Dr. Binka during his presentation on “Health Systems”.

Another theme heard throughout the week was a call for cross-border collaboration for innovation and problem solving. On Tuesday morning, Speak Up Africa, PATH, and the RBM Partnership to End Malaria hosted National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) Managers from across Africa at an informal breakfast meeting to introduce preliminary plans for the pan-African scaling of Senegal’s successful malaria elimination mobilization campaign, “Zero Malaria Starts with Me” by the African Union Commission and RBM.

 National Malaria Control Program Managers from across the African continent attended a briefing session to learn more about plans to scale up the “Zero Malaria Starts with Me” campaign to other countries on Tuesday.

National Malaria Control Program Managers from across the African continent attended a briefing session to learn more about plans to scale up the “Zero Malaria Starts with Me” campaign to other countries on Tuesday.

NMPM’s from both Francophone and Anglophone countries, including Guinea, Niger, Chad, and Botswana, were in attendance at the breakfast and given a preview of the proposed web-based toolkit being developed to help make the multi-country expansion easy for pilot countries.

A specific example of how cross-border collaboration methods are being implemented was presented on Wednesday during a symposium entitled “Cross-border management of malaria control in Senegal and the subregion: Challenges and prospects”, led by Dr. Doudou Sène, Coordinator of Senegal’s National Malaria Control Program, and Dr. Balla Kandeh, Head of the National Malaria Control Program in Gambia.

Dr. Sène and Dr. Kandeh detailed the steps taken during the program that has been implemented in regions near the Senegal-Gambia border. This included highlighting the similarities and differences in the fight against malaria in both countries and using that information to find the ideal tools and methodologies to meet specific elimination needs.

Wednesday was also the day that the Malaria Summit took place at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London. The events of MIM were amplified on this day as business leaders, philanthropists, scientists, heads of states and civil society actors gathered in the UK to announce significant new commitments towards beating malaria.

“We have made significant gains against malaria on the African continent. This progress has been the result of the sustained commitment from African leaders and the international community. But the gains made are fragile and there is no room for complacency. Failure to sustain and indeed strengthen our efforts will have humanitarian effects as well as cost implications for our respective countries. Today the Commonwealth has made a strong statement that it is ready to beat malaria. Let’s recommit to work together as governments, development partners, the private sector and communities to eliminate malaria for good. Zero malaria starts with me and with you,” said H.E. Dr. Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of eSwatini representing His Majesty King Mswati III of the Kingdom of eSwatini and Chair of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) during the CHOGM Malaria Summit.

 “Zero Malaria Starts with Me” champions visiting the campaign booth in the MIM exhibition tent.

“Zero Malaria Starts with Me” champions visiting the campaign booth in the MIM exhibition tent.

In addition to the many presentations and discussions happening inside the conference center last week, there was also a lot of sharing of new technologies, drugs, tools, systems and more outside the center in the exhibition area. Daily visits to the tented hall, gave visitors an opportunity to ask questions and have in-depth discussions with teams staffing the booths of pharmaceutical companies, country programs, research organizations, NGOs and other stakeholders working to #EndMalaria, including a stand manned by Speak Up Africa staff for the “Zero Malaria Starts with Me” campaign.

The week’s busiest booth would go to Vestergaard’s PermaNet 3.0. Set-up to resemble a home with a mosquito net flanked bed on the interior, the gathering space outside, complete with tables and stools, hosted conference visitors for lunch and discussions each afternoon. Syngenta found a way to make the malaria fight fun by using interactive games and hands-on tools at their stand, including a ball toss where players were rewarded for landing on countries where progress in malaria elimination had been made. Also interesting from the expo floor was the booth of The Global Good Fund, who introduced findings from their pilot field trial in Gambia that is exploring controlling malaria by improving the built environment through the redesign of doors and windows for homes.

 Prof. Omar Gaye, Chair of the MIM organizing committee, at the MIM closing ceremony.

Prof. Omar Gaye, Chair of the MIM organizing committee, at the MIM closing ceremony.

#MIM2018 was definitely a full week where everyone in attendance became more knowledgeable, met potential collaborators and converted new champions. During the closing ceremony on Friday, Prof. Omar Gaye, Chair of the MIM organizing committee, presented several certificates of recognition to researchers working in every area of malaria elimination for their tireless dedication.  “Let us stay encouraged and focused. Together we will see a world free of malaria.”

For more highlights from the 7th Multilateral Initiative on Malaria in Senegal review #MIM2018 on Twitter at www.bit.ly/mim2018-highlights.

Inside #MIM2018: A night under the stars with Youssou Ndour to say thank you and celebrate the people working to #EndMalaria on day 4 of the conference

We are more than half way through a week of knowledge sharing and networking at the 7th Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM). On Wednesday night, to show gratitude and celebrate the many stakeholders working daily to #EndMalaria, the MIM organizing committee hosted a special night gala dinner with a private concert from international favorite, and malaria champion, Youssou Ndour.

Here’s a look at the night, that included presentation of awards and certificates for conference organizers and performances from traditional dancers and musicians.

 MIM2018 Organizing Committee President, Prof. Oumar Gaye, welcomes guests to the gala.

MIM2018 Organizing Committee President, Prof. Oumar Gaye, welcomes guests to the gala.

 Dr. Pedro Alonso, Director of the WHO Global Malaria Programme, and other malaria champions enjoy the entertainment at the gala dinner.

Dr. Pedro Alonso, Director of the WHO Global Malaria Programme, and other malaria champions enjoy the entertainment at the gala dinner.

 The Vestergaard team enjoys dinner and downtime after a long day in the MIM exhibition hall.

The Vestergaard team enjoys dinner and downtime after a long day in the MIM exhibition hall.

 Prof. Wilfred Mbacham, Associate Professor at the Biotechnology Center (BTC) of the University of Yaounde I in Cameroon at the gala dinner. Prof. Mbacham was one of many malaria champions that were honored with a certificate of appreciation at the gala.

Prof. Wilfred Mbacham, Associate Professor at the Biotechnology Center (BTC) of the University of Yaounde I in Cameroon at the gala dinner. Prof. Mbacham was one of many malaria champions that were honored with a certificate of appreciation at the gala.

 Nobel Prize winner and MIM speaker Prof. Harold Varmus accepts a certificate of appreciation from MIM2018 Organizing Committee President, Prof. Oumar Gaye.

Nobel Prize winner and MIM speaker Prof. Harold Varmus accepts a certificate of appreciation from MIM2018 Organizing Committee President, Prof. Oumar Gaye.

 Prof. Ogobara Doumbo, Director of the Malaria Research and Training Center in Bamako, Mali, was one of many malaria champions honored during the gala.

Prof. Ogobara Doumbo, Director of the Malaria Research and Training Center in Bamako, Mali, was one of many malaria champions honored during the gala.

 Prof. Gaye presents Prof. Rose Leke, Chair of the MIM Secretariat andEmeritus Professor of Immunology and Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaounde, Cameroon , with a certificate of appreciation.

Prof. Gaye presents Prof. Rose Leke, Chair of the MIM Secretariat andEmeritus Professor of Immunology and Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaounde, Cameroon , with a certificate of appreciation.

 Malaria champion Youssou Ndour performed after the awards are presented.

Malaria champion Youssou Ndour performed after the awards are presented.

 Youssou Ndour shares his certificate of recognition from the RBM Partnership to End Malaria. A long-time champion for the elimination of malaria, he gave gala attendees a private concert at the MIM.

Youssou Ndour shares his certificate of recognition from the RBM Partnership to End Malaria. A long-time champion for the elimination of malaria, he gave gala attendees a private concert at the MIM.

Inside #MIM2018: “Zero Malaria Starts with Me” campaign showcases achievements and celebrates Senegal's successes in the malaria-fight on day 2 of the conference

The “Zero Malaria Starts with Me” national mobilization campaign to eliminate malaria has been a model of success since it was first launched in Senegal in 2014. Organizations around the world continue to laud the program, with H.E. Macky Sall, President of Senegal, receiving the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) Award for Excellence for his outstanding leadership of the campaign, which helped the country reduce malaria cases by more than twenty percent between 2015-2016.

Now in its fourth year, “Zero Malaria” is ready to expand beyond the borders of Senegal, and take its innovative, inclusive approach to increasing awareness in the population at all levels of society, engaging the private sector, and making malaria elimination a priority at the the highest levels of government, to neighboring countries with the RBM Partnership to End Malaria.

On Monday, at a special luncheon during the 7th Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM) conference, Speak Up Africa and its partners highlighted the achievements and opportunities of the campaign, as well as presented the plans for expansion.

 Pr. Awa Marie Coll-Seck Minister of State of Senegal, speaking about the "Zero Malaria Starts with Me" luncheon.

Pr. Awa Marie Coll-Seck Minister of State of Senegal, speaking about the "Zero Malaria Starts with Me" luncheon.

“We are delighted to hear about the campaign’s expansion throughout Africa and hope to further our activities with National Malaria Control Programmes throughout the continent,” said Kabirou Mbodje, CEO and Founder of Wari, an international digital platform, born in Africa and dedicated to financial inclusion. “By sponsoring several community-based and mass communication activities, we aim to improve awareness of malaria prevention in Senegal and on the continent.”

In its new expanded phase, the campaign will support African nations in their efforts towards malaria elimination through:

  • High-level engagement with government, private sector and civil society leaders: as part of the pan-African “Zero Malaria Starts with Me” campaign, leaders will be invited to publicly pledge their support to and make concrete commitments towards malaria elimination.
  • Advocating for an increase in external and domestic funding for malaria elimination: as part of the broader strategy of increasing the financial envelope for malaria, the campaign will explore innovative financial mechanisms and attract contributions from the private sector.
  • Increasing awareness and ownership at the community level: broad public engagement with a focus on youth, and development of a “community malaria champions” network will be a key element of the campaign.
  • Providing mission-critical support to malaria endemic countries: the campaign will support national malaria control programmes in their elimination efforts through the elaboration of a hands-on “Zero Malaria Starts with Me” toolkit and on-demand technical assistance.

During the luncheon, moderated by Ibrahima Cheikh Diong, CEO of ACT Africa Group, the importance of participation from all stakeholders–community citizens, researchers, health workers, national program managers, and government officials–was stressed.

 The three pillars of the "Zero Malaria Starts with Me" campaign represented in one photo: political commitment, community and private sector engagement. 

The three pillars of the "Zero Malaria Starts with Me" campaign represented in one photo: political commitment, community and private sector engagement. 

“We need strong political leadership across levels to ensure malaria elimination remains a top health and development priority. As we’ve seen in Senegal, strong government commitment is critical for advancing progress against malaria. However, cross-national political partnerships are also essential for sharing best practices and ensuring sustained success,” remarked Philip Welkhoff, Malaria Program Director at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

AU member states, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, have already expressed interest in the campaign, and the RBM Partnership continues to work closely with the AU Commission and other partners on developing the campaign ahead of a planned launch during the 31st African Union Summit in Mauritania in June.

To learn more about “Zero Malaria Starts with Me” visit http://www.zeropalu.org/ (French).

Inside #MIM2018: A wrap up of the first day on its return to Senegal twenty years later

Yesterday marked day one of the 7th Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM), the largest scientific conference focused on the global fight to eliminate malaria. Once again, twenty years after the first MIM conference, scientists, researchers, policymakers, and heads of state are meeting in Senegal, this time at the Abdou Diouf International Conference Center (CICAD), to promote global collaboration and build research capacity in malaria-endemic countries across Africa.

Taking advantage of the overwhelming presence of partners attending the conference, the  RBM Partnership to End Malaria board convened for a dialogue, where the newly released strategic plan was introduced and questions were answered regarding the way forward for the new board.

 RBM Partnership to End Malaria board members convene a dialogue before the opening ceremony of the 7th Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM) on 15 April 2018.

RBM Partnership to End Malaria board members convene a dialogue before the opening ceremony of the 7th Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM) on 15 April 2018.

After an introduction of board members by Board Chairperson Dr. Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho, Senegal Minister of State, Prof. Awa Coll-Seck, welcomed the First Lady of Niger, H.E. Aïssata Issoufou, and reiterated the need for cross-border collaboration.

RBM CEO Dr. Kesete Admasu wrapped up the first part of the session with key points from the 2018-2020 strategy including three cross-cutting objectives:

  • Keep malaria high on political and developmental agendas;
  • Promote and support regional approaches;
  • Promote and advocate for sustainable malaria financing.

The dialogue concluded with questions from the audience, allowing an opportunity for all board members to contribute their inputs to the discussion, including Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross, who reminded the audience, “We will not eliminate #malaria if we do not address the situation of refugees in Myanmar or the issues in northern Nigeria.”

Dr. Pedro L. Alonso, Director of the World Health Organization’s Global Malaria Programme, also announced that three African countries, Ghana, Kenya and Malawi, will be part of the first rollout of the malaria vaccine, RTS,S, reminding participants that tangible innovations and advances are being made towards elimination.

Following the RBM dialogue session, the #MIM2018 opening ceremony was convened in the CICAD auditorium. Moderated by Ibrahima Cheikh Diong, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Africa Consulting and Trading, highlights for the upcoming week were shared by Dr. Rose Leke, MIM Secretariat Director; Dr. Admasu; Prof. Omar Gaye, Chair of the MIM organizing committee and and Head of the Department of Parasitology of the Faculty of Medicine at Cheikh Anta Diop University; Dr. Magda Robalo, Director of Communicable Diseases at the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO), who shared remarks from WHO AFRO Regional Director Dr. Matshidiso Moeti in her absence; and African Union Representative Mariama Cissé.

 Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Harold Varmus, on stage during the opening ceremony of the  7th Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM) on 15 April 2018. Dr. Varmus’ plenary session, “The Spirit of Dakar” was the first for the week-long conference.

Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Harold Varmus, on stage during the opening ceremony of the  7th Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM) on 15 April 2018. Dr. Varmus’ plenary session, “The Spirit of Dakar” was the first for the week-long conference.

Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Harold Varmus, who was part of the MIM founding committee in 1997, led the first plenary session, “The Spirit of Dakar”, sharing that the “one unifying issue and rallying cry across Africa” at that time was malaria, and underscoring the work of the Malaria Research and Training Center, in Bamako, Mali, led by scientists Yeya Touré and Ogobara Doumbo.                     

The Executive Secretary of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), Joy Phumaphi, used the ceremony as an opportunity to present Senegalese President, H.E. Macky Sall, with the ALMA Award for Excellence for his outstanding leadership in reducing malaria cases in Senegal by more than twenty percent between 2015-2016.

 Senegalese President, H.E. Macky Sall accepting the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) Award for Excellence from ALMA Executive Secretary Joy Phumaphi during the #MIM2018 opening ceremony.

Senegalese President, H.E. Macky Sall accepting the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) Award for Excellence from ALMA Executive Secretary Joy Phumaphi during the #MIM2018 opening ceremony.

"This reaffirmed commitment to building a malaria-free world underlines our common ambition to save lives and leverage human capital in order to strengthen our economies and ensure the well-being of our people, especially the most vulnerable. To reinforce our current gains and amplify results, the Government of Senegal progressively raised the budget allocated to health while creating a specific budget line to the malaria fight," he said, closing the ceremony.

The MIM conference, “Dakar II: Two Decades of Progress, Challenges and Perspectives in Ending Malaria”, will continue at the Abdou Diouf International Conference Center in Diamniadio, Senegal from 15-20 April. Focused on new research in malaria surveillance, diagnostics, drugs, vector control, vaccines and health systems, participants will discuss how these tools can be used to accelerate the fight against malaria, both globally and within sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, panel discussions, workshops and keynote speeches will discuss the tremendous progress made over the past two decades, as well as addressing the challenges to achieving complete elimination.

For more information on MIM, visit www.mim2018.org.
 

International Experts Convene in Dakar to Present Latest Innovations in the Fight Against Malaria

7th MIM Pan African Malaria Conference focuses on the latest research and combatting remaining obstacles in the effort to end malaria for good

DAKAR, SENEGAL (April 15, 2018) – Thousands of researchers, experts and government officials from more than 70 countries gathered today for the launch of the 7th Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM) Pan African Malaria Conference, April 15-20, the largest scientific conference focusing on the global fight to eliminate malaria.

The conference, “Dakar II: Two Decades of Progress, Challenges and Perspectives in Ending Malaria,” will focus on new research in malaria surveillance, diagnostics, drugs, vector control, vaccines and health systems, and will discuss how these tools can be used to accelerate the fight against malaria, both globally and within sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, panel discussions, workshops and keynote speeches will discuss the tremendous progress made over the past two decades, as well as addressing the challenges to achieving complete elimination.

Among the speakers will be Nobel Prize winner Prof. Harold Varmus; Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, Regional Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa; Dr. Pedro Alonso, Head of the WHO Global Malaria Programme; Dr. Kesete Admasu, CEO of the RBM Partnership and the former Minister of Health of Ethiopia; and H.E. Amira El Fadil, African Union Commissioner for Social Affairs.

At the conference’s opening ceremony today, Senegalese President Macky Sall accepted the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) Award for Excellence for his outstanding leadership in reducing malaria cases in Senegal by more than 20 percent between 2015 and 2016. Exemplifying what’s needed to stay committed on the path to a malaria-free Africa, President Sall focused on the urgent need to develop new tools and redouble efforts to advance the fight against this preventable disease.

"This reaffirmed commitment to building a malaria-free world underlines our common ambition to save lives and leverage human capital in order to strengthen our economies and ensure the well-being of our people, especially the most vulnerable. To reinforce our current gains and amplify results, the Government of Senegal progressively raised the budget allocated to health while creating a specific budget line to the malaria fight." said President Sall.

A wide array of innovative new tools and solutions will be presented at the conference, including the first-ever malaria vaccine, RTS,S, which will be rolled out later this year in parts of Ghana, Kenya and Malawi. Other topics to be discussed include the launch of an online database to address insecticide resistance, the impact of intermittent preventive therapy of malaria in pregnancy, preventing the disease through seasonal malaria chemoprevention, eliminating mosquitos through genetic engineering and addressing malaria transmitted through blood transfusions.

“Defeating malaria will require a coordinated, multipronged approach that brings together the resources, knowledge and expertise of individuals and institutions from a range of sectors,” said Dr. Kesete Admasu, CEO of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria. “The expertise and focus represented at this conference are critical for accelerating progress against a stalled agenda.”

The advances over the past 20 years have put the world on a path to ending malaria for good.  While this progress is commendable, the 2017 World Malaria Report demonstrates that it has stalled and is fragile and uneven. In 2016, there were an estimated 216 million cases of malaria, about 5 million more than in 2015, and 90 percent of these cases occurred in sub-Saharan Africa. Of the 445,000 people who died of the disease, about two-thirds were children under the age of 5. Yet, the number of countries reporting fewer than 10,000 cases was at its highest in 2016, showing that with determination, prioritization and the right tools, elimination is possible.

“The development of new, innovative tools to fight malaria is absolutely essential,” said Prof. Omar Gaye, Chair of the MIM organizing committee and Head of the Department of Parasitology of the Faculty of Medicine of Cheikh Anta Diop University, which is hosting the conference. “With insecticide and drug resistance becoming an increasingly urgent threat, we must act quickly to regain the momentum we have achieved over the past 15 years and accelerate progress toward ending the disease. That means greater emphasis on prevention strategies, improved research and clinical study approaches, and increased funding.”

The conference is being held a week ahead of World Malaria Day, which takes place on April 25 each year. It is also running parallel to the London Malaria Summit, which takes place alongside the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London on April 18. This meeting will bring together high-level stakeholders, including business leaders, philanthropists, scientists, heads of state and members of civil society to announce significant new commitments to mobilize domestic resources, increase investment, and develop new innovations and approaches toward beating malaria.

About the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM):

The Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM) was established in 1997 with the mission to strengthen and sustain, through collaborative research and training, the capacity of malaria-endemic countries in Africa to carry out the research that is required to develop and improve tools for malaria control and to strengthen the research-control interface. Every four years, the MIM organizes a Pan African Malaria Conference to celebrate progress made by researchers and control program managers. The MIM Secretariat is based at the University of Yaoundé I in Cameroon, with Prof. Rose Leke as co-chair, Prof. Wilfred Mbacham as executive director, and Dr. Abanda Ngu Njei as manager. For this 7th MIM conference, the Local Organizing Committee is chaired by Prof. Omar Gaye and co-organized by Speak Up Africa.