23 May 2022
Wednesday 25 May 2022, Abidjan – One month before the Kigali Summit on Neglected Tropical Diseases and Malaria, a workshop was held in Abidjan to increase the synergy between actors involved in the fight against malaria and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in Côte d’Ivoire.
Hosted by ASAPSU (Association de Soutien à l’Autopromotion Sanitaire Urbaine – Association supporting the self promotion of urban hygiene) this workshop brought together several key stakeholders including representatives from Save The Children, ROLPCI (Réseau des organisations de lutte contre le paludisme en Côte d’Ivoire – Network of Organisations Fighting Malaria in Côte d’Ivoire), CGECI (la Confédération Générale des Entreprises de Côte d’Ivoire – General Confederation of Enterprises of Côte d’Ivoire), the Côte d’Ivoire National Assembly and Ministry of Health to coordinate partner actions and strengthen the mobilisation of funds for the fight against these preventable diseases.
On 7 April 2021, a group of civil society organisations from several West African countries, together with the non-profit organisation Speak Up Africa, launched the March to Kigali campaign. It builds on the existing partnerships and platforms of the “Say No to NTDs” and “Zero Malaria Starts with Me” campaigns, and aims to foster the commitments needed to achieve the elimination of these diseases by 2030, as targeted by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and malaria disproportionately affect the poorest populations and are a major impediment to economic and social development internationally. Globally, 1.5 billion people suffer from NTDs, 39% of them in Africa, and at least 5 NTDs are co-endemic in 79% of African countries. In terms of malaria, the number of cases in 2020 was estimated at 241 million and the number of deaths at 627,000, 95% of those in Africa, with 80% of mortality in children under five.
During the first panel, the Honourable Charles Lopez, representing the Côte d’Ivoire National Assembly explained that there is no specific law on malaria and NTDs, but that in 2019 a law on the orientation of health policy was adopted to help set up infrastructures tailored to the needs of communities.
The second panel, moderated by Dr Kassi Manassé of Save the Children and Mr Agui Zadi of ROLPCI, highlighted the difficulties encountered by stakeholders in the fight against malaria and NTDs. For Dr Kassi, despite the efforts made by the Ministry of Health, to succeed in the fight against malaria several challenges must be overcome:
Mr Agui Zadi of ROLPCI (Réseau des organisations de lutte contre le paludisme en Côte d’Ivoire) explained that his organisation was created in response to a need for coordinating malaria control activities at community level. He welcomed support from the Global Fund, the main donor in the fight against malaria, and recalled the urgency of respecting the commitments made by our governments to fight for what matters.
The CGECI (Confédération Générale des Entreprises de Côte d’Ivoire), represented by Mr N’Dri, has assured its concrete involvement in the fight against malaria by ensuring that malaria patients are cared for in enterprise health centres.
Several recommendations were made to the main actors, i.e. governments, heads of state and the Global Fund, to intensify the fight against malaria and NTDs in order to succeed.
This useful workshop ended with closing words from the Honorable Charles Lopez, who reiterated his institution’s willingness to support the fight, followed by Dr Kassi who thanked and encouraged the actors before Dr Lath Claudine from ASAPSU ended the workshop on behalf of Ms Navigue, President of the ASAPSU Board of Directors.
Join the March to Kigali campaign and sign the call to action here https://www.speakupafrica.org/fr/program/march-to-kigali/