Vitality Health International recently initiated the first V-Talk panel discussion, aiming to tackle significant health, wellness, and economic issues in Africa. The series brings together experts to devise and apply innovative health solutions across the continent, with the first session focusing on malaria. The panel featured specialists such as Mike Mpanya from Vitality Health International, Sherwin Charles and Robbie Brozin from Goodbye Malaria, Dr. Ron Whelan and Dr. Noluthando Nematswerani from Discovery Health, and Emma Knox, CEO of Vitality Health International Africa. Distinguished guests included Professor Lucille Blumberg, an infectious diseases expert, and Dr. Brian Brink from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
The event coincided with the SADC Malaria Week and Day, under the theme ‘African solutions to African problems’. Discussions highlighted the ongoing fight against malaria in Africa, emphasizing the need for collaborative efforts to prevent and treat this fully preventable and treatable disease. Emma Knox underscored the severity of malaria in Africa, noting its status as a leading cause of death, particularly among children.
Malaria remains a critical challenge in Africa, with the WHO reporting that Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, and Niger account for over half of global malaria deaths. The 2022 WHO World Malaria Report indicated that Africa bears 95% of malaria cases and 96% of deaths globally, with children under five being the most affected.
To combat this, Vitality Health International has partnered with Goodbye Malaria. This collaboration focuses on eradicating malaria in Africa by combining Vitality Health International’s shared-value health insurance model with Goodbye Malaria’s efforts. Mpanya detailed how this partnership aims to make a significant difference beyond just commercial value.
Discovery Vitality MoveToGive, in conjunction with Goodbye Malaria, has launched an initiative allowing members to donate Discovery Miles to support malaria eradication efforts. These funds aid in house spraying, providing rapid test kits, and treatment for malaria.
Goodbye Malaria, co-founded by Robbie Brozin, operates on a public-private partnership model, working with governments and the private sector in Mozambique, Eswatini, and South Africa. The organization has dedicated substantial resources to malaria elimination efforts in these regions.
Dr. Nematswerani emphasized a multi-pronged approach to tackling malaria, including indoor spraying, bed nets, and prophylactics. She also highlighted the importance of public awareness and prevention strategies, especially as holiday seasons approach.
The panel concluded with optimism for the future. The partnership between Vitality Health International, Goodbye Malaria, and other stakeholders represents a united front against malaria in Africa. Professor Blumberg expressed hope that this collaborative effort will continue to make strides in malaria elimination, emphasizing the importance of maintaining the ‘malaria voice’ in the face of challenges like COVID-19. Knox echoed this sentiment, stressing the collective commitment to tackling malaria and the urgency of taking action now.