25 November 2020
Mr. Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, Senegal’s Minister of Health and Social Action officially launched the « Zero Malaria! Business Leadership Initiative » this Saturday, November 21, 2020, in the presence of business leaders’ members of the Ecobank network. Ecobank Senegal thus joins Ecobank Benin and becomes the second country to officially launch this initiative aiming at strengthening efforts to combat malaria. It follows the regional launch of the initiative by the Ecobank Group and the Dakar-based non-profit organization Speak Up Africa in July 2020.
« The RBM Partnership to End Malaria welcomes Senegal’s renewed commitment to malaria elimination and stands ready to support the country’s efforts to reach its Zero Malaria goal. « said Dr. Adbourahmane Diallo, CEO of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria.
Senegal is in line with global progress in the fight against malaria. With 354,708 reported cases of malaria, the country reported 260 deaths in 2019, as compared to 550 deaths in 2018. Despite this progress, malaria remains a threat to the Senegalese population and continues to negatively affect their daily lives. Aware of the need to act to end this burden, the Ecobank Group, in partnership with Speak Up Africa, are launching the « Zero Malaria Business Leadership Initiative » to « promote the mobilization of domestic resources for sustainable financing of malaria control and elimination and to mobilize the private sector for the elimination of malaria. This initiative builds on the « Zero Malaria Starts with me » movement co-led by the RBM Partnership, the African Union Commission and adopted by 55 African Heads of States.
« We remain convinced that the private sector has a very important role to play in the fight against malaria. The involvement of the private sector in mobilizing resources for malaria control is a profitable investment for business. First of all, because healthier human resources translate into productivity gains. Secondly, because the elimination of this preventable and treatable disease will provide healthy living conditions for the people of our country, » said Mr. Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, Senegal’s Minister of Health and Social Action.
It is within this context that the Senegalese Minister of Health and Social Action launched the « Zero Malaria Fund ». This Fund, based on a matching funding agreement, will be set up to inspire innovation and finance ambitious malaria control interventions across the country. Following the announcement of the creation of the Fund and convinced that malaria elimination requires the contribution of all sectors of society, the Ecobank Group pledged to allocate FCFA 60,000,000, thus becoming the first contributor to this « Zero Malaria Fund ».
« In order to end malaria in Senegal and to protect all those at risk, it is crucial to increase the funding available for the fight against this disease. The Ecobank Group, through » Zero Malaria Business Leadership Initiative » wants to play its part in this fight, which, in addition to being noble, is in the interest of all of us as private sector companies, but also as citizens, fathers, mothers and Africans, » concluded Sahid Yallou, Managing Director of Ecobank Senegal.
The campaign also aims at building community momentum to improve awareness and ownership of interventions in the fight against the disease.