BY GEORGINA KEKEA
HEADS to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) has welcomed global, regional and national efforts to combat malaria and other mosquito borne diseases.
Also the leaders have made a commitment to halve malaria across the Commonwealth by 2023. On top of that, they are making a commitment to reduce malaria globally by 90 percent come 2030.
All these were part of the outcomes of a Global Malaria Summit held concurrently with the CHOGM held in London recently. Solomon Islands being a member of the Commonwealth is also committing itself to fight malaria as revealed by Prime Minister Rick Hou.
Speaking to the media upon his arrival, PM Hou Solomon Islands had joined other commonwealth countries to make a renewed pledge to fight against malaria.
“One of the highlights after the summit was the signing of the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance Elimination Roadmap. For us in the region three Prime Ministers signed the roadmap. PNG, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu signed the roadmap.”
World leaders and global experts that gathered at the recent London Malaria Summit expressed a clear sense of urgency for more action. The leaders say it is urgent because malaria is still one of the deadliest diseases for people around the world.
“The signing opens funding opportunities for countries that have signed from the Commonwealth Secretariat in our fight against malaria in our respective countries,” Hou told the local media.
At the Malaria Summit Prime Minister Hou spoke before 14 heads of State and Government, Bill Gates, scientists and private sector representatives and international organisations including His Royal Highness, Prince Charles.
PM Hou in his remark says there is no doubt malaria can be eliminated from Melanesia.
“I am delighted to be joined here by my two Melanesian brothers. As leaders of some of the ‘blue continent’s’ most populous nations, we have come here together to signal our unwavering commitment to malaria elimination. And to endorse the Asia Pacific Leader’s Malaria Alliance Roadmap,” PM Hou told the summit.
The Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA) is an affiliation of Asian and Pacific heads of government, formed to accelerate progress against malaria and to eliminate the disease in the region by 2030.
APLMA Roadmap was endorsed by 18 heads of government in November 2015. It highlights six key priorities that governments must pursue to achieve malaria elimination in the region by 2030 .
The six priority areas are, uniting national efforts into regional action, map, prevent, test and treat the disease everywhere, ensure high quality malaria service, tests, medicines, nets and insecticides, improve targeting and efficiency to maximise impact, mobilise domestic financing and leverage external support and innovate for elimination.
For Solomon Islands, over the past decade, Government has allocated 12 percent of their budget to the health sector. For 2018, a total of SBD$23million is invested on malaria.