The governments of Mozambique, South Africa and Eswatini, in partnership with The Global Fund, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Goodbye Malaria, today celebrated the launch of the third MOSASWA regional grant following the successful completion of two previous grants. MOSASWA is a trilateral agreement between the governments of Mozambique, South Africa and Eswatini, with the aim to work collaboratively across borders to accelerate malaria elimination in the South East African region.
The new grant, totaling US$24 million, runs from 1 January 2023 – 31 December 2025. During this period, a primary focus will be assisting South Africa and Eswatini to move closer to malaria elimination. While southern Mozambique will see districts begin to enter sub-national malaria elimination with a continued decline in both morbidity and cases, in all three provinces of operation, namely Gaza, Inhambane and Maputo.
Since 2017, the grant has scaled up annually from protecting one million citizens to over three million in 2022. This growth continued during the COVID pandemic. In Maputo province there has been a 63% decrease in malaria morbidity since 2017, with a 53% reduction in malaria cases. This significant reduction in cases is ensuring reduced cross-border malaria transmission in the region.
The partnership between the three countries has shown continued collaboration in working together across their borders, aligning policies and programmes to ensure a regionally coordinated effort. This collaboration is pivotal to South Africa and Eswatini moving towards malaria elimination within the next five years.
Despite Mozambique having a high burden of disease, accounting for 4.1% of malaria cases globally according to WHO World Malaria Report 2022, progress in Southern Mozambique is being made towards malaria elimination that is critical to the fight against malaria within the country as a whole. With the success seen in the three provinces of Maputo, Gaza and Inhamabane having the ability to be rolled out nationally.
His Excellency Armindo Tiago, Minister of Health of Mozambique, said, “I want to express our satisfaction with the effort that has been undertaken by the Global Fund and partners in the fight against malaria through this programme that integrates the three countries. Alone, we couldn’t make it this far.”
The Mozambican Minister of Health also said that the launch of the third grant to combat malaria takes place at a time when the country is defining a new strategy for mitigating the disease in the country, so this initiative represents a gain for the department.
The new grant supports the countries’ respective national strategic malaria plans with comprehensive vector control, including indoor residual spraying, increased surveillance and data collection, advocacy and behavioural change communication. Further, working together with country departments of health on diagnostics and treatments.
The Ministry of Health South Africa commented, “Sustaining of funding by the Global fund for the MOSASWA region is most welcomed by South Africa. This will maintain the gains obtained thus far and ensure success in the pursuit of malaria elimination.
“The continuation of the MOSASWA grant, is beneficial for South Africa’s move towards malaria elimination, as this will only be possible in partnership with other countries through cross-border initiatives. We should always keep it in mind that parasites and vectors transcend geographical borders.”
With the increasing risks to the fight against malaria, including biological risks, insecticide and drug resistance, there is a need to leverage partnerships and collaboration to step up the fight against malaria. A better targeting of interventions, new tools, efficient implementation and increased funding are needed to change the global trajectory of the disease and reach zero malaria.
Mr. Mark Edington, Head of Grant Management at the Global Fund, added “Improved data collection and surveillance enables the programme to make data driven decisions resulting in cost effective malaria control and impact on the ground. Using data, the programme is able to demonstrate the impact of our malaria support, showing a significant reduction in malaria cases. This, combined with a strong partnership between government, the private sector and civil society, gives the Global Fund full confidence to continue investment in the program for another three years.”
Private sector partner to the grant, Goodbye Malaria, has contributed US$5.5 million earmarked to this 3rd MOSASWA grant, bringing its total investment to driving malaria elimination in the region to just over $13 million (R227 million) since 2017.
“This unique partnership has ensured that continued regional success has equated to continued investment in the fight against malaria; this despite a global pandemic and economic crisis. I wish to thank The Global Fund, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and our private sector partners, including Nando’s and Vodacom Mozambique, for their continued support of the MOSASWA grant. As malaria knows no borders, neither does our fight against it,” concluded Sherwin Charles, Co-Founder and CEO, Goodbye Malaria.