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08 November 2012
Roll Back Malaria highlights the country’s achievements thanks to Global Fund support
A report released today by Roll Back Malaria details Swaziland’s recent progress controlling malaria and the transition towards elimination. These achievements were made possible due to supplemental resources provided by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Honorable Minister of Health of Swaziland Benedict Xaba officially launched the report today at the National Health and Research conference. “The Global Fund is an important partner in the fight against malaria in Swaziland. However, the country still faces challenges in achieving elimination and in sustaining the gains in a potentially less supportive donor environment,” he said.
Minister Xaba also reinforced the government’s commitment to finding a solution to build on the gains the country has already made and continuing to strengthen cross-border collaborations with neighbouring countries.
Swaziland became the first country awarded a Global Fund grant to pursue malaria elimination in 2008. The Global Fund supported the expansion of vector control interventions, and also provided regional grants that sustained and expanded operations for a partnership supporting malaria control in border areas of Swaziland, Mozambique, and South Africa.
The Global Fund also supported the transition from control-focused to elimination-related interventions that have included the introduction of artesminin-based combination therapies (ACTs) and rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs), at all of the country’s health facilities. It also established an active surveillance system to allow for case tracking.
At the event of the launching of the report, Minister Xaba was joined by the popular South African musical artist and RBM Goodwill Ambassador Yvonne Chaka Chaka, who earlier in the day visited a border post between Swaziland and Mozambique to emphasize the need to educate travelers on personal protection against malaria and early treatment seeking behavior. Ambassador Chaka Chaka also visited a local hospital where she commended healthcare workers for the progress that they have made toward elimination.
With the launch of Swaziland’s Progress and Impact Series Report, both Minister Xaba and Ambassador Chaka Chaka shared the hope and promise of realizing a malaria free Swaziland and eventually, a malaria-free southern Africa.
The Program and Impact Series Report can be found on the RBM website.
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