United States Embassy, Addis Ababa-World Malaria Day-Open Letter from USAID Mission Director

U.S. Salutes Ethiopia’s Health Heroes in Leading Efforts to Beat Malaria:

On World Malaria Day, the United States is proud to partner with all Ethiopians in your efforts to beat the disease. And we salute Ethiopia’s health heroes – doctors, nurses, community health workers, lab technicians, mosquito sprayers, pharmacists, researchers, drivers, warehouse workers, data entry specialists and many more – who work every day to safeguard health, prevent illness and assist those in need.

When a young child wakes up lethargic and feverish in many rural communities, mothers often turn to health extension workers who use a rapid finger-stick test to see if malaria parasites are present in the child’s blood. And if the test is positive, health workers administer an antimalarial treatment so the child can recover. As many villagers live far from health clinics and hospitals, health extension workers are often the first, and sometimes only, providers of health services like diagnosing and treating malaria. In order for a child sick with malaria to receive appropriate care in a remote village, multiple country-led and managed components, spanning all levels of the health care system, must be well-functioning and coordinated.

Despite being entirely preventable, malaria is a leading cause of sickness and death across much of sub-Saharan Africa, and in Ethiopia. The disease disproportionately impacts the rural poor  and traps families in a vicious cycle of disease and poverty.

Since 2008, the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), led by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and implemented together with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has partnered with Ethiopia to diagnose and treat malaria more effectively, and provided protective measures for millions of people.

With the Ministry of Health and the national malaria control program in the lead, in close collaboration with many partners and countless communities in Ethiopia, PMI has sustained its focus on scaling up proven, cost-effective interventions. As a result, over the past decade, we have worked together to procure and distribute 30 million insecticide-treated bed nets, 9 million rapid diagnostic tests, and 15 million treatment doses of malaria medication since the inception of this initiative. Millions of people have benefitted from this support and data from nationwide surveys indicate significant improvements in the reach and impact of malaria control interventions in Ethiopia.

Simultaneously, and of equal importance, PMI is strengthening health systems by building the skills of more than 27,000 health workers to diagnose and treat malaria cases more effectively and working with Ministry of Health leaders to manage malaria control activities with increasing self-reliance.

After more than a decade of the U.S. partnership with Ethiopia under PMI, malaria elimination is now considered a realistic long-term goal. Mortality among children under the age of five has decreased by 46 percent since 2005. This is a direct result of collective investment and action by the government, communities, donors, and development partners. However, while substantial progress in scaling up malaria control interventions continues, nearly 70 percent of Ethiopians are at risk of contracting the disease, as evidenced by the 1.7 million reported cases of malaria last year.

That is why we cannot lose momentum against the “ancient killer.” We must sustain and build on our achievements. Diverting our focus will result in a resurgence of malaria illness and death, risking the extraordinary progress achieved to date and the substantial investments made thus far.

A great tragedy and consequence of poverty is that women and children die from diseases that we know how to treat – diseases that are entirely curable. Malaria is at the heart of sustainable development and it brings many of the different dimensions of development together. Malaria control is central to improving child survival and maternal health, and contributes substantially to eradicating poverty. Malaria affects the health and economic growth of nations and individuals alike. Malaria is bad for business, where the disease is responsible for employee absenteeism, increased health care spending, and decreased productivity. Education cannot thrive as long as malaria is in the equation. According to the World Bank, malaria leads to 50 percent of all preventable school absences in Africa.

Fighting malaria is a smart investment to protect health, create opportunity, and foster economic growth, especially among the poor. So as we commemorate this World Malaria Day, we celebrate our successes, but also recognize that there is much work yet to be done. In the spirit of this year’s theme, “Ready to Beat Malaria,” let us all recommit our collective efforts to eliminate this deadly disease once and for all. In doing so, many more children and families across the country will have a better chance to live healthier, happier, and more prosperous lives.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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Source:: United States Embassy, Addis Ababa-World Malaria Day-Open Letter from USAID Mission Director


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Readout of the Secretary-General’s meeting with the President of The Gambia

The Secretary-General met with H.E. Mr. Adama Barrow, President of the Republic of The Gambia. The President discussed his expectations for the upcoming donors conference on The Gambia in Brussels in support of the country’s National Development Plan.

The Secretary-General congratulated the Republic of The Gambia for progress made since the political transition, and underscored the importance of sustainable development and peace consolidation. He also reiterated the solidarity and continued support of the United Nations with the Government and People of The Gambia.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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Source:: Readout of the Secretary-General’s meeting with the President of The Gambia


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Government notes planned South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) marches

Government has taken note of the planned marches set to take place today, 25 April 2018, by the South African Federation of Trade Unions.

Marches played a central role during the apartheid era and culminated into the transition from apartheid to democracy. Today, marches continue to play a role in the democratic South African society wherein people have a place to make their voices heard.

The right to assemble and to protest in order to advance a particular cause is enshrined in the South African Constitution. However, it also equally caters for protestors to conduct themselves in a responsible manner. Peaceful protests are quintessentially a characteristic of a strengthened democratic and progressive society.

Acting GCIS Director-General, Phumla Williams, said: “We call on all those participating in the marches across the various provinces to refrain from violence, destruction of property and intimidation. The rights of people who do not want to participate in the marches must be respected. When marches deviate from the intended cause and becomes characterised by violence, looting and civil-disobedience –it is less likely to produce democratic progress.”

Government further calls upon the convenors of the march to ensure that chaos does not ensue around Parliament, as it is a national key point, and the highest law making arm of the State. The same sentiments should be applied to other areas across the country, where members plan to gather.

Government appeals to all unions and those participating in the march to allow the law enforcement agencies the space to work and safeguard properties in line with the Regulation of Gatherings Act, 1993. “Law enforcement has a duty to protect and ensure the safety and security of all people in South Africa. The law enforcement agencies have a Constitutional obligation to protect and ensure all citizens are and feel safe in South Africa,” added Williams.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: Department of Government Communication and Information.

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Source:: Government notes planned South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) marches


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United Nations Deputy Secretary-General’s remarks at Sahel Alliance Side Event: Working Hand in Hand with the United Nations to Invest for the Future of the Sahel

Remarks at Sahel Alliance Side Event: “Working Hand in Hand with the United Nations to Invest for the Future of the Sahel” :

Ladies and gentlemen,

As Deputy Secretary-General and as someone with very close ties to the Sahel, I very much welcome the initiative of the European Union and the G5 Sahel countries to bring us together today.

The Sahel is a top priority for the United Nations. People in the region continue to suffer severely from the consequences of violence and conflict, violations of human rights, under-development, climate change and other ill.

The report recently launched by UNICEF, FAO and WFP sounded a further alarm.

Nearly 7 million people are at risk of food insecurity.

In 2018 alone, 1.6 million children have been diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition.

And 2.5 million pastoralists and agro-pastoralists require urgent livelihoods.

These figures underscore the importance of addressing the root causes of the crisis.

Yet most international assistance today is spent on crisis management rather than on prevention and development.

Official Development Assistant is just a fraction of military and security spending.

We can and must do better.

The UNDP study “Journey to extremism in Africa” shows how investments in development can help to address the structural drivers of radicalization, and support communities in implementing initiatives to build societies based on the full respect of human rights and with
economic opportunities for all.

All of us here today recognize that sustaining peace cannot be achieved without sustainable development.

One main challenge in the Sahel is the multiplicity of initiatives. Now more than ever, we need better coordinated collective action under the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel as our overarching framework to tackle poverty, food insecurity, violent extremism, illegal
trafficking, climate insecurity and national structural challenges.

The response must be owned and led by national governments, with support from the international community.

It is critical to provide donors with platforms and entry points that bring together regional and national priorities to address the root causes of conflict. In consultation with the Sahel countries and our partners, including the African Union, as well as the EU and the World
Bank through the Sahel Alliance, we have developed a Support Plan to trigger investment and mobilize further resources for the region in key areas such as economic growth, governance and rule of law, youth, women and girls, and climate change.

It is time to turn challenges into opportunities and change the narrative in the Sahel.

The United Nations and I personally look forward to strengthening our cooperation with the Sahel Alliance, aligning our priorities to direct investments to where they are needed most, and achieving transformative change that will shape a better future for all the people of
the Sahel.

Thank you.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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Source:: United Nations Deputy Secretary-General’s remarks at Sahel Alliance Side Event: Working Hand in Hand with the United Nations to Invest for the Future of the Sahel


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