The current boundary of malaria transmission in southern Africa stretches across the four “front-line” elimination countries of Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland, with transmission occurring predominantly in their northern provinces. For these countries to succeed in eliminating malaria from their northern borders, they will rely on their northern neighbors, the “second line” countries of Angola, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe, to significantly reduce malaria incidence on their respective southern borders through scaled-up malaria control efforts.
In March 2009, the Global Health Group supported Namibia’s Ministry of Health and Social Services to host the inaugural meeting of the Elimination Eight (E8), an eight-country initiative in southern Africa that seeks to increase regional collaboration, coordinate cross-border activities, and share evidence and lessons learned among the four front-line countries and the four second-line countries. The meeting resulted in a Ministerial Resolution which was approved by the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The E8 Ministers and key technical partners from the region meet on an annual basis to review progress on cross-border collaborations in southern Africa. The E8 is chaired by Minister Kamwi from Namibia, and is working to establish a secretariat and a technical committee with support from the Global Health Group.
The E8 countries are currently pursuing three cross-border initiatives between the front-line and second-line countries: