President Obiang Calls for Long-Term Commitment to Fight Malaria
President to Address United Nations General Assembly
NEW YORK, Sept. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Equatorial Guinea President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo called on governments, NGOs, and the private sector to make a long-term commitment to fight malaria. President Obiang, who is currently Chairman of the African Union, served as a key note speaker at an event held at the margins of the UN General Assembly yesterday to celebrate the achievements of the UN decade to Roll Back Malaria.
“Everyone here represents a fundamental role on this fight. We can drastically change the lives of those affected by malaria by working together in strategic associations with the private and public sector,” said President Obiang. “Country leaders need to make malaria a national health priority to establish the necessary programs and tools to fight and control malaria.”
Equatorial Guinea has one of Africa’s most successful programs to fight the spread of malaria and has reduced the incidence of the disease by 57% in just four years. The anti-malaria project is currently focused on the island of Bioko, where more than half the population of Equatorial Guinea lives, and has been extended to 2013 to develop local capacity and enable the campaign to reach the mainland. The project has won numerous high-profile awards for social responsibility and good citizenship, according to a report by Roll Back Malaria. The program to control malaria is part of a broader effort by the government, through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, to improve public health in the West African nation.
He referenced the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) program’s recent report on A Decade of Cooperation and Results, and highlighted how it is possible to achieve excellent results on malaria control in a relatively short period of time when people work together in solidarity under the same plan and objective. President Obiang highlighted the 38% world reduction in malaria because of the medicine, prevention control and effective diagnostics available.
Also participating in the Roll Back Malaria event were United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro, Her Royal Highness Princess Astrid of Belgium as Roll Back Malaria’s Special Representative; President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete of Tanzania as Chair of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance, and Prof. Michel Kazatchkine, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Special guests included Yvonne Chaka Chaka, RBM good will ambassador and renowned South African singer; International Soccer Player Samuel Eto’o; Mandy Moore, actress, singer and PSI ambassador; and Youssou N’Dour, RBM good will ambassador and renowned Senegalese singer.
President Obiang will address the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) tomorrow, the opening day of the session. President Obiang has been participating in several other events in New York during this week. President Obiang officially inaugurated the newly remodeled (and newly purchased) offices of the country’s Permanent Mission to the UN.
The Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM) is the global framework for coordinated action against malaria. Founded in 1998 by UNICEF, WHO, UNDP and the World Bank and strengthened by the expertise, resources and commitment of more than 500 partner organizations, RBM is a public-private partnership that facilitates the incubation of new ideas, lends support to innovative approaches, promotes high-level political commitment and keeps malaria high on the global agenda by enabling, harmonizing and amplifying partner-driven advocacy initiatives. RBM secures policy guidance and financial and technical support for control efforts in countries and monitors progress towards universal goals.
About Equatorial Guinea
The Republic of Equatorial Guinea (Republica de Guinea Ecuatorial) is the only Spanish-speaking country in Africa, and one of the smallest nations on the continent. In the late-1990s, American companies helped discover the country’s oil and natural gas resources, which only within the last five years began contributing to the global energy supply. Equatorial Guinea is now working to serve as a pillar of stability and security in its region of West Central Africa. The country hosted the 2011 Summit of the African Union. For more information, visit http://www.guineaecuatorialpress.com.
SOURCE Republic of Equatorial Guinea