Since 2000, malaria-eliminating countries in Africa have experienced a marked decline in malaria incidence. In the past 15 years, Algeria, Botswana, Cape Verde, Mayotte, Namibia, São Tomé and Príncipe, South Africa and Swaziland have collectively achieved a 96% reduction in cases. The Global Health Group's Malaria Elimination Initiative has supported elimination efforts in southern Africa at a national and regional level since 2008.
At the national level, the Malaria Elimination Initiative supports national malaria programs in Namibia and Swaziland to conduct groundbreaking operational research on surveillance and response strategies for more effectively achieving and sustaining malaria elimination.
From 2008 to 2012, the Malaria Elimination Initiative partnered with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) to help Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland develop sound, aggressive and evidence-based strategic and operational plans for elimination, mobilize sufficient resources, and effectively manage ongoing implementation of elimination programs, in accordance with national and regional goals.
In 2009, the Malaria Elimination Initiative catalyzed the Elimination 8 (E8) regional initiative. The E8 brings the four southern-most countries in Africa together with their northern neighbors to eliminate malaria. Today, the E8 is recognized as a SADC regional initiative and aims to create an enabling environment for achieving national and regional elimination goals, thus accelerating progress towards a malaria-free southern Africa. The five key objectives of the E8 are to: enhance regional coordination; elevate regional elimination to the highest political level; promote regional policy harmonization, quality control, and knowledge management; reduce cross-border transmission; and develop new ways to ensure long-term sustainable financing. This partnership resulted in all four countries transitioning from a control to an elimination strategy.
With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Malaria Elimination Initiative continues to provide financial and technical support to the E8 Secretariat, based in Windhoek, Namibia.