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STATEMENT BY THE RT HON PRIME MINISTER

 

OF THE KINGDOM OF SWAZILAND

 

AT THE MALARIA SUMMIT, COMMONWEALTH HEADS OF GOVERNMENT MEETING

 

LONDON

 

WEDNESDAY 18 APRIL 2018

 

Your Excellency President Kagame

YourExcellencies,

Mr and Mrs Bill Gates

Ladies and Gentlemen

It is my honour, on behalf of His Majesty, King Mswati III, chairperson of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance, to greet you all at this meeting.

On the African continent in the recent past we have made significant gains in the fight against malaria. But the recent World Malaria Report has indicated that progress has stagnated. On a continent where 91% of the global malaria cases occur, as well as 93% of deaths from the disease that is something to worry about. At the African Union Summit in January of this year we were informed that a child dies from malaria every 20 minutes. Despite such cruel overall statistics, in a number of our countries considerable progress has been made and the disease is no longer the number one killer of children under five years of age.

Malaria is a disease of poverty and, in turn, a cause of poverty yet it is possible to eliminate it. The achievements we have made are a demonstration that, working together, governments,international and domestic partners, private sector and civil society,we can end malaria. But the gains made are fragile and there is no room for complacency.

Failure to sustain and, indeed, strengthen our efforts will have enormous humanitarian, as well as cost implications for our respective countries.If we fight malaria aggressivelywe will reap the dividends and makeresources available to fight other diseases and strengthen the broader health systems, which in turn will increase human economic productivity. We need to scale upimplementation of evidence-based effective malaria elimination interventions, includingpromotion of cross-border cooperation. The Kingdom of Swazilandhas made considerable progress in recent years and is committed tothe elimination of malaria in our country by 2020.

Whilst appreciating deeply the past generosity of development partners,we must appeal for the additional resources that are required for the planned malaria interventions. The return on investment is quite extraordinary - we are reliably informed thatfrom one US dollar spent in the fight against malaria, the return to an economy is US$36. In the Kingdom of Swaziland during the current malaria season, despite having to deal with our own financial challenges, we have doubled our domestic financing of indoor residual spraying, which is considered to be a vital technique towards achieving our goal. And we continue to vigorously engage our private sector to add its support.   One Swazi telecommunication company is supporting our malaria surveillance system through technical assistance to the malaria immediate notification system.

Let us re-commit and have governments and partners digging deeper to make a world free of malaria.

Thank you.

 

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