15th East Africa Sub-Regional Network (EARN) Annual Meeting

General Assembly meeting, Kigali, Rwanda, 15-19 September 2014


Theme: “Invest in the future: Defeat Malaria”
Slogan: “Malaria Control for Sustainable Development in Eastern Africa!”

The 15th EARN annual review and planning meeting, is planned to be held during 15-19 September 2014, in Kigali, Rwanda.

The theme for World Malaria Day 2014 remains “Invest in the future: Defeat Malaria” and it continues to strongly reflect the need to sustain the investments gained thus far, after a relatively successful decade of malaria control that resulted in a significant reduction of malaria morbidity and mortality around the world including Eastern Africa.

As we quickly approach the last 554 days towards the end of 2015, National Malaria Control Programs (NMCPs) and partners will meet to renew their momentum for unfinished business towards attaining MDG 4, 5, and 6, as well, reiterate their commitment to reduce the burden of malaria in our countries. The meeting will showcase progress and good practices over the last 3 years. Moreover, it will focus on a common regional agenda to extend malaria control to all including the hard to reach pockets that contribute to malaria morbidity and mortality due to difficultly in accessing malaria control services. Innovating approaches to reduce inequities whilst reaching out to the most vulnerable and improving malaria control outcomes, will require significant joint efforts among NMCPs and partners alike to tackle the remaining challenges and maximize available opportunities to consolidate the gains made during the last decade.

Most of countries within EARN network have continued to make impressive strides towards malaria related MDGs. Malaria roadmaps and other monitor tools indicate that most of our countries are on track to meet the targets despite the financial challenges that malaria control has been facing in the last two years. However, there still remains the urgent need to prioritize, target interventions, discuss ways to accelerate and boost the chances of achieving the MDGs and reflect on lessons that can inform the post-2015 agenda. The meeting will discuss and analyze the bottlenecks and propose high impact solutions to maximize the attainment of the MDG targets that will be reflected in the 2014 EARN partnership work plan.

The meeting will also discuss how best to position the network to support countries through the process of engagement with partners such as GFATM, within the context of new funding architecture, and generating bottom up ideas to feed into the GMAP-2 development to reflect continuity and evolution from the lessons learnt from the implementation of the first GMAP. The last ECC meeting in Bujumbura, Burundi brought to the forum issues related to the need of evidence to support malaria control and elimination in the region as well as value of money and better allocative efficiencies. A “one size fits all” technical approach for malaria control is no longer the most efficient use of scarce resources provided for malaria control particularly when international funding is dwindling. Global funding for malaria control is expected to remain significant, but fall short of the $5-6 billion needed annually to achieve global malaria targets. From the $2 billion peak in 2011, malaria funding decreased slightly in 2012 and 2013, and likely drop further to an annual US$ 1.5 billion by 2015. In this context it is vital both to maximize value for money – by more intelligent targeting of the most vulnerable populations – and to justify the health and economic benefits of sustaining control so that financial support is maintained.

Evidence-led planning for malaria control can be used to maximize investments in order to accelerate and sustain countries’ gains. Further, to ensure that country-level malaria policy, practice and resource allocation will be based more on evidence; will require a transformational shift in the culture of decision-making. There is thus a need to identify evidence gaps, analyze and use information for strategic planning and stronger systems for systematically collecting quality data. Malaria risk mapping and stratification can help target different epidemiological settings with appropriate and technically sound malaria control strategies.

Inter-country cooperation and cross border malaria control are paramount for responding to challenges within countries and beyond. This includes the threat of drug and insecticide resistance and circulation of fake and substandard drugs. In recent decades the development of new antimalarial drugs made and kept effective treatment of malaria possible, even when parasite resistance to existing drugs emerged. 27 sub-Saharan countries have identified resistance to at least one of the four classes of insecticides used for malaria vector control. Better entomological data, resistance mapping and relevant vector behavior will need to be tracked across Eastern Africa and used to harmonize cross border strategies. Regional cooperation and inter-country collaboration is paramount if the gains made are to be sustained.

EARN will meet to celebrate a decade of success and strategize the final push towards 2015, in addition to reflecting on post-2015, against a background of global financial uncertainties, that threaten the gains made to date. The Eastern Africa malaria community must continue to advocate for increased domestic funding for malaria control to urge international partners to continue investing in malaria as good value for money. There is a need to build strong systems to maximize the currently used tools and investments for malaria control and delay insecticide and drug resistance, to consolidate further achievements.

RBM-EARN will convene its general assembly meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, 15-19 September 2015, to reflect on the significance of the achievements made thus far during the last decade in Eastern Africa and consider the challenges to deliver the final urgent push towards attainment of the 2015 MDGs and, reflect on post-2015 challenges of delivering malaria control in a financially constrained environment. The scarcity of resources calls for better coordination and coherence of partnership in


providing technical and programmatic support to countries, thus avoid duplication and ensure value for money invested in malaria control while propelling countries towards near zero malaria deaths by the end of 2015.

It is against this background that the ECC of the Eastern Africa RBM Network (EARN) is announcing the EARN General Assembly meeting that will bring together representatives of different RBM constituencies with interest in malaria control in Eastern Africa. The meeting is crucial in reviewing the performance of implementation of the 2012-2014 RBM-EARN workplan and providing uniform guidance on planning for 2015. The meeting is scheduled for 15-19 September 2014 in Kigali, Rwanda.

2. Objectives of the General Assembly
 To provide a forum of for the partners to coordinate their malaria control efforts and ensure that

resources deployed are used optimally at a minimal waste.

2.1 Specific Objectives

1) Review 2014 EARN-RBM Work plan implementation performance
2) Gauge progress in terms of implementation of 2012-2014 malaria roadmaps towards the GMAP
3) Provide technical updates in various field of malaria control
4) For countries in the region to share information, best practices and experiences
5) Identify bottlenecks and propose solutions to accelerate malaria related MDGs towards 2015 targets
6) Discuss and updates on malaria control financing opportunities
7) Countries and partners to develop joint 2015 plan to address the needs and achieve goals/targets.
8) Elect new constituency representatives of the EARN-ECC
Expected Outputs

1) EARN-RBM Work plan implementation performance reviewed
2) Progress in terms of implementation of 2012-2014 malaria roadmaps towards the GMAP measured
3) Malaria technical updates provided to countries
4) Technical assistance needs identified
5) Best practices shared among EARN countries
6) GFATM and other financial mechanisms the discussed and recommendation on the way forward provided
7) EARN 2015 partnership work plan to address the needs and achieve goals/targets developed.
3. Method of work

 The meeting will utilize plenary presentations followed by interactive discussions and group work.
 Poster presentations
 The meeting will be conducted in English with simultaneous interpretation in French.
4. Documentation
4.1 Reference Documents


RBM Partnership operating Framework
2014 EARN Country Roadmaps
2014 EARN work plan
2014 EARN budget
4.2 Working documents

Malaria control and USB key to roadmaps progress
PPT and planning templates
Gap analysis tools

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