MMV signs MoU with ALMA at the African Union Summit

MMV signs historic agreement with the African Leaders Malaria Alliance, an alliance of African Heads of State seeking to work together to combat malaria in Africa.

03 Feb 2011

On 31 January 2011, the last day of the 16th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Dr David Reddy signed an MoU with ALMA the African Leaders’ Malaria Alliance on behalf of MMV. Co-signatory was Joy Phumaphi, Executive Secretary, ALMA. The MoU was signed in the presence of HE President of Tanzania Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, who is also the Chairman of ALMA.

ALMA was founded by African Heads of State and Government to use their individual and collective power across country and regional borders to end malaria-related deaths by 2015. MMV and ALMA have agreed to work together to promote the removal of monotherapies, advocate for national scale-up and correct use of ACTs and RDTs, and support the dissemination of best practices relating to ACT and RDT use.

These issues are completely aligned with MMV’s own access work around facilitating policy acceptance of high quality ACTs, expanding product uptake in endemic countries by improving product availability and correct case management, and supporting measures to evaluate and document the health impact of scaling up access to high quality ACTs.

At the meeting, ALMA Awards for Excellence were given to the Republic of Guinea, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania by the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and the African Union Chairperson His Excellency Jean Ping. Recipients of the award were the leaders of nations that have banned the importation and use of oral artemisinin-based monotherapies, which cause drug resistance that weakens the effectiveness of recommended malaria treatments; and additionally have removed tariffs on essential commodities used in the fight against malaria.

Speech delivered by David Reddy, MMV's CEO at the signing of the ALMA-MMV MoU

"Your Excellency President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete of the United Republic of Tanzania, and Chair of ALMA; Your Excellencies and members of ALMA; the AU Chairman Jean Ping; the UN Special Envoy for Malaria, Mr Ray Chambers; the RBM Executive Director, Prof Awa-Marie Coll-Seck; Honourable Ministers, Ambassadors, Heads of delegations; distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

I am honoured to be in the presence of Africa’s eminent leaders to sign a memorandum of understanding on behalf of Medicines for Malaria Venture with ALMA.

MMV was created in 1999, in response to a call from African leaders concerned about the growing ineffectiveness of antimalarial drugs.

MMV exists because of that call… Our mission is to discover, develop and deliver new, safe, effective and affordable medicines for malaria.

The commitment of African leaders, such as yourselves, to the ambitious goal of achieving near zero malaria deaths by 2015 is a source of strong support to those, like us, working in this field.

Today, although malaria still continues to plague this beautiful continent, its burden is gradually diminishing. From 2008 to 2009 the number of deaths from malaria has fallen by almost 10%. And it continues to fall. But there is still much to do.

MMV and partners are playing a critical role in this global fight against malaria. Since 2009, almost 52 million treatments of our first product, a child-friendly ACT, have been distributed to 33 countries, saving the lives of countless children.

We have facilitated and accelerated the prequalification by the WHO of an injectable artesunate to treat severe malaria.

Today is a landmark day for MMV. With this MoU we can work together with ALMA to make 2011 the year of radical improvement in correct diagnosis and treatment of malaria.

We depend on you, the African presidents, to lead the way by establishing and ensuring policies that promote the rational use of ACTs, the removal of monotherapies, and the use of diagnostic tests to better target the use of drugs in your countries.

We assure you, your Excellencies, your call was heard loud and clear over a decade ago and we will not rest until the goal of zero deaths has been achieved.

Thank you once again."