07 December 2020
On Monday the 7th October, 50 key local government stakeholders from across Sierra Leone convened in Freetown to declare their support for the elimination of malaria as part of the Zero Malaria Starts with Me / Malaria e Don Wan Dae Na Mi Han campaign, a Pan-African movement committed to eliminating malaria by 2030.
Malaria is endemic in Sierra Leone and while huge progress has been made in the last 10 years, with fatalities reducing by over 70% thanks to concerted action and investment, malaria still has a huge effect on the health and wellbeing of the population. The vast majority of malaria deaths are of children under 5 and pregnant women are also at high risk. With COVID-19 becoming the main focus of attention and concern throughout 2020, the risk of seeing a rise in malaria cases is higher than ever.
While resource mobilisation and political will at the national level is vital to ensuring that progress can be made towards the ambitious target of malaria elimination by 2030, it is also crucial that local government officials and their partners mobilise their influence, authority and resources at their level and ensure that malaria is taken into consideration in all planning decisions.
Mohamed Idriss Kamara, District Medical Officer of Port Loko said
My colleagues and I now have a clear plan in mind for how we will work together to take the fight against malaria to the next level into the new decade and ensure that we play our part in reaching the goal of malaria elimination by 2030. Zero malaria starts with each every one of us.
Paramount chiefs, Mayors and council chairs, Senior District Officers, District Officers, District Medical Officers, and many others all have distinct but essential roles to play in the fight against malaria through the provision of health and sanitation services, housing, environmental safety, the enforcement of byelaws, and ensuring that essential information about malaria prevention and treatment is communicated to their populations.
Amadu Barrie, Mayor of Bonthe, concluded
Malaria caused almost 2 million cases and 2 thousand deaths in 1 year. In order for us to make further progress against this disease, every sector, every part of government, and all communities must commit to playing their part. As a champion of the Malaria e Don Wan Dae Na Mi Han campaign, I announce my whole-hearted support for the “Local Government for the Elimination of Malaria” engagement.