Malaria, This disease is the leading cause of infant mortality in Africa in particular. It alone slows down a country’s entire system because it threatens the health, economy and well-being of all! Malaria has more than 219 million estimated cases in 2017, and an estimated 435,000 deaths in the same year. 92% of malaria deaths were recorded in Africa in 2017, according to the World Bank, the disease would cost Africa $12 billion a year in GDP.
In the face of these bitter findings, the will to permanently eliminate malaria and the fight against it has become more ardent over the past decade. Senegal’s National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP), in partnership with the NGOs PATH MACEPA and Speak Up Africa, have therefore launched the “Zero Malaria Starts With Me” to Senegal in 2014. It is based on three pillars: the call for political commitment at the highest level of government, the mobilization of private sector companies to establish new partnerships and finally the improvement of community awareness and sensitization on malaria. The campaign mobilized political leaders, the private sector, artists, communities and other members of society to promote best practices in the systematic use of LLINs, RDTss and free screening and treatment.
In order to reach all social layers, especially the most vulnerable, the “Community Champions” programme has been designed and implemented. Community champions act within households through awareness- raising activities aimed at improving individual ownership and behaviour change at the community level. Their mission is to initiate and sustain actions aimed at the responsible participation of populations in the fight against malaria, in particular through activities such as sanitation, hygiene and the elimination of breeding sites and environmental preservation. This campaign contributed to the excellent results in Senegal, between 2015 and 2017, where the number of malaria cases fell by almost 20%.
In view of these positive results, in July 2018, the African Union and the RBM Partnership to End Malaria drew inspiration from this innovative campaign and launched the continent-wide campaign “Zero Malaria Starts With Me” for a malaria-free Africa, subsequently adopted by 55 African Heads of State and Government. To date, more than 30 countries have expressed interest in participating in the campaign and several countries, such as Cameroon, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Mauritania, Niger, Uganda and Zambia, have already launched national campaigns that include the large-scale distribution of bed nets, the establishment of National Malaria Control Councils and parliamentary groups on malaria. Others are about to launch national campaigns similar or inspired by the “Zero Malaria Starts With Me”.
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) play a leading role in this campaign. Indeed, by implementing this campaign and the activities presented in the tool available on https://zeromalaria.africa/, they will then be able to implement advocacy adapted to their national context and aimed at, for example, increasing external and national funding for malaria elimination by strengthening the commitment of government, the private sector and civil society. Ultimately, CSOs are the cornerstone for better collaboration between health teams (region/district), community actors, private sector companies and government.
For more information on the implementation of the campaign in Senegal, please visit:
For more information on the tools developed by the RBM Partnership and the African Union, visit: