Pictured, from left to right: Abubacar Sultan, UNICEF Representative; Rt. Rev. André Soares, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Angola; Rev. Deolinda Teca, General Secretary of the Angolan Council of Christian Churches; and Dr. Franco Cazembe Mufinda, Secretary of State for Public Health of the Republic of Angola listen to declarations of commitment from religious leaders to work towards a country free of malaria.
This story was originally published by allAfrica.
Luanda, Angola — The Angolan Council of Christian Churches (CICA) and the Anglican Diocese of Angola convene leaders from government and civil society to announce their leadership in advocacy for malaria elimination.
Anglican Bishop André Soares announced the formal launch of an Interfaith Commission for the Fight against Malaria on December 2nd during a high-level panel featuring faith, government, and non-governmental leaders. He invited representatives from all faith communities to participate in this commission, spearheaded by the Anglican Church, CICA, and Caritas.
"We have come here today, on the 2nd of December, for the church to make a commitment, starting right now, to unite in the fight against malaria," said Bishop Andre Soares. We will consolidate our efforts, with all religious leaders united together."
The newly launched commission will advocate for the elimination of malaria – a preventable disease that continues to threaten the health and well-being of Angola, as noted in the 2019 World Malaria Report released last week;11,814 malaria deaths and over 5 million malaria cases were reported in the country in 2018.
Read the full article here.
As we reflect on 2019, one event worth remembering was the Isdell:Flowers Cross Border Malaria Initiative Round Table, held February 28 – March 1, 2019 in Livingstone, Zambia. Promoting the 2019 World Malaria Day slogan of “Zero Malaria Starts With Me,” the Round Table focused on community engagement in the context of malaria elimination. Government officials, representatives from malaria-endemic communities, and program, academic, and private sector partners convened at the Round Table to discuss the necessity of community engagement and the involvement of those directly affected by malaria in malaria elimination efforts. Participants shared practical examples and principles of successful community engagement activities. Three core principles of effective community engagement emerged: 1) there is no “one size fits all” community engagement strategy; 2) community engagement must be a bidirectional activity; and 3) community members must be at the heart of malaria elimination efforts. Detailed Round Table proceedings were written up and published as a meeting report in Malaria Journal, which can be found at here.
J.C. Flowers Foundation Launches FLAME (Faith Leader Advocacy for Malaria Elimination) in Zambia and Angola
The J.C. Flowers Foundation’s Isdell:Flowers Cross Border Malaria Initiative is launching FLAME (Faith Leader Advocacy for Malaria Elimination). FLAME will catalyze and strengthen interfaith coalitions of religious leaders for malaria advocacy. These coalitions – based in Angola, Zambia, Namibia, and Zimbabwe – will seek to amplify the advocacy voice of religious leaders for malaria elimination in a manner that is aligned with national malaria control and elimination program priorities. The coalitions will address the challenge of imperfect policies and insufficient funding to eliminate malaria.
Religious leaders can be effective advocates by serving as a bridge between technical experts and decision-makers. Recognizing the unique role of religious leaders in malaria elimination, IFCBMI has partnered with the Anglican Church in Southern Africa for more than 10 years. FLAME will build upon IFCBMI’s existing work with faith leaders and will include leaders from diverse faiths and traditions throughout the four countries.
Once recruited, faith leaders will receive training in malaria and advocacy, and will form interfaith coalitions to advance technically informed advocacy for policies and funding to accelerate malaria.