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Eliminating Malaria Requires Leadership, Engagement From Civil Society, Local Communities

Devex: Opinion: Civil society and community engagement key to achieve malaria elimination
Olivia Ngou, deputy director for Africa and Cameroon country director at Malaria No More, member of the Global Civil Society Network for the Malaria Elimination Secretariat, and member of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria

“…Now, more than ever, the global fight to end malaria needs new ideas. We need to get high-burden countries — especially in sub-Saharan Africa — back on track to continue driving down malaria cases and deaths. And we need countries on track to elimination to stay committed until they get to zero malaria cases. Sustaining funding for strong and stable health systems is one of the most critical aspects for making this happen. However, we have learned that top-down government investment is not enough. Experience shows that no matter how near or far countries are in achieving zero malaria, we are stronger working together from local communities upward. We are stronger pooling our resources and efforts. We also are stronger when civil society, through community-led action, engages in the fight against malaria. … If funded and empowered adequately, engaged communities can demand greater accountability from government decision-makers and the private sector. We can transform victims of malaria into champions for strong health systems and stable financing to sustain them. And working together, we can deliver the knockout punch to end this disease for good” (11/15).