Bill Gates and E8 leaders meet in Durban, South Africa to plan for malaria elimination in southern Africa

On the heels of African leaders endorsing a new roadmap to eliminate malaria in Africa by 2030, Bill Gates met with members of the Elimination 8 (E8) Regional Initiative in Durban, South Africa to learn about the E8’s latest efforts.

Within the E8, member countries collaborate to address malaria elimination challenges that go beyond the scope or mandate of any one country, such as those associated with mobile and migrant populations, and gaps in surveillance data, resources, and infrastructure. In November 2015, the Global Fund strengthened its commitment to malaria elimination in southern Africa through a US$17.8 million grant to the E8, which complements US$275 million in country-level Global Fund grants over the next three years. A new E8 summary brief provides information about the value of the E8 regional approach and how it is accelerating malaria elimination efforts in southern Africa.

Present at the Durban meeting were, among others, Kudzai Makomva (Director of the E8 Secretariat) and Dr. Richard Kamwi (the E8 Ambassador and former Namibian Minister of Health). In light of Gates’s emphasis on good data as key to global health, Bill Gates, Dr. Kamwi, and Ms. Makomva discussed the development of a regional malaria surveillance database to sync malaria data from E8 member countries and provide national malaria control programs with regional-level intelligence. This database—the first of its kind—will vastly improve the region’s capacity to collectively understand where transmission is occurring and how to effectively eliminate it.