As part of the measures to eliminate malaria in Africa, the Principality of Monaco and the WHO Regional Office for Africa have forged a new partnership which aims at reducing all malaria-related deaths in the Sahel region.
The partnership was announced in a press statement on Thursday.
According to WHO, two million Euros will be disbursed over five years to ensure the region is malaria free.
The funds will support work in eight countries: Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Chad, The Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal in the Sahel region to accelerate towards malaria elimination.
In Africa, only two countries, Mauritius and Algeria in the WHO African Region, have been certified malaria free.
Although Nigeria is one of the countries with the highest burden of malaria in the region, it will not be benefiting from the funds.
In the Sahel region, more than 374 million people are at risk of contracting malaria.
The Sahel stretches from Senegal on the Atlantic coast, through parts of Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Chad and Sudan to Eritrea.
Having a semi-arid climate, it stretches across the south-central latitudes of Northern Africa between the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea.
The WHO Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, said with the generous support of donors and partners, the health body will achieve the shared goal of a malaria-free future in Africa.
“Contributions, like this one from the Principality of Monaco, are instrumental in ensuring that we continue to make progress, particularly in those countries which bear the highest malaria burden.”
In a similar vein, Government Adviser and Minister of External Relations and Cooperation of Monaco, Gilles Tonelli, said the Principality has been supporting WHO health programmes in Africa since 2007.
He said the new investment is in recognition of the huge burden that malaria places on countries in Africa.
The crippling effect of the disease, he said: “is on the socio-economic development of the region.”
“The Monaco-WHO grant agreement will contribute to the work of the Regional Office for Africa in providing technical support and guidance to the eight Sahel countries, including through helping to strengthen programmes, improving technical capacities and sub-regional collaboration and coordination,” he said
The relationship between the Principality of Monaco and the WHO Regional Office for Africa has been ongoing since 2007.
Monaco has supported WHO in the fight against malaria in Southern Africa and polio in Niger; the reinforcement of the national health system in Madagascar; and health emergencies response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014.
A grant of 3.65 million Euros in 2010 – 2018 also helped to strengthen malaria surveillance and evidence-based programming in the malaria elimination context and to contribute to sub-regional coordination.