25 April 2015
PORT-BOUET – Côte d'Ivoire is now providing protection against malaria to virtually its entire population through universal coverage of mosquito nets. A mass distribution campaign of 13 million mosquito nets that started last year will be coming to an end this week in Abidjan, the country’s capital.
In an event held in the country today to commemorate the eighth World Malaria Day, Dr. Raymonde Goudou Coffie, Ivorian Minister of Health and the Fight against AIDS, Annick Girardin, French Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, and Dr. Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund, came together to applaud partnership efforts that have enabled the country to achieve the milestone of universal coverage of mosquito nets.
The campaign received US$ 55 million (CFA 28 billion) in funding from the Global Fund, as well as logistical support and expertise from UNICEF, WHO and CARE. A total of 18,500 volunteers were also involved in the campaign.
“With the conclusion of our distribution of 13 million mosquito nets, we will enable Cote d’Ivoire to reach universal coverage for the first time. This is a huge step forward which will save thousands of lives. The challenges we face are enormous but I remain convinced that it is indeed possible to eradicate malaria in the Cote d’Ivoire. We will only achieve this, together with our partners, in solidarity” said Dr. Goudou Coffie.
Significant progress has been made in the fight against malaria since 2002, saving millions of lives. Yet additional resources are needed to reduce malaria incidence and to support efforts to fight poverty and improve maternal and child health.
France accounts for some 16 percent of global malaria control funding, in particular through its contributions to the Global Fund, the French Development Agency and the 5% Initiative. It also supports scientific research through the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (Institute for Development Research) and the Institut Pasteur.
"Ebola is a highly visible killer, while malaria is a silent killer that claims vast numbers of lives," said Girardin. "Because of Ebola, hundreds of thousands of malaria patients have ceased treatment over the last year. France is a major contributor to the fight against malaria, working alongside the Global Fund to support prevention, recovery and health systems strengthening efforts. In our view, this is the most effective way to fight these two scourges."
Over the last ten years, the Global Fund has invested US$ 232 million in the fight against malaria in Côte d'Ivoire. "Thanks to the support of countries such as France – our second-highest contributor – the Global Fund has been able to support national efforts in Côte d'Ivoire," Dr. Dybul. "Together, we need to do even more to eradicate malaria, strengthen health systems, and protect mothers and children. The Global Fund is firmly committed to achieving these objectives."