The Minister of Health Dr Jane Aceng on Wednesday launched the Board of Directors of ‘Malaria Free Uganda,’ an innovative Public-Private Partnership recently established to sustain and accelerate the National Malaria Response.
The launch which Aceng performed remotely on zoom from the health ministry headquarters, had a corresponding meeting with board members at Skyz Hotel in Naguru.
“Malaria Free Uganda is a non-profit, public-private partnership established to mainstream responsibility for malaria across all sectors and help remove financial and operational bottlenecks faced by the National Malaria Control Division and its partners,” Aceng said.
As malaria champions, the Board will Advocate for malaria to remain high on the national development agenda, including for sectors outside of health, Remove Barriers to coordinating action across sectors, Mobilise Financial and in-kind goods and services to plug resource gaps under the national malaria strategic plan, Strengthen Mutual Accountability for achieving a malaria-free Uganda by 2030 and lead the Promotion for the inclusion of MFU into the private sector Corporate Social Responsibility Programs.
Congratulating the Board, Honourable Minister Aceng made her appeal to the private sector saying ‘…As long as Malaria remains a serious public health problem in Uganda, where it is responsible for 30-50% of outpatient visits, 15-20% of hospital admissions and up to 20% of inpatient deaths and as long as Malaria is seen as a routine part of health rather than the crisis it is, we shall continue to see stagnant economic growth and social development in our country…the talent and experience we have mobilised to this board from the private sector and civil society will support government efforts to achieve a Malaria Free Uganda by 2030’
Speaking on behalf of the board the Chairman Mr Ken Mugisha of the Rotarian Malaria Partners Uganda, thanked the Minister for recognising the role the Private Sector and Civil Society can play in making a significant impact on the fight against Malaria‘…As Rotarians we set a target to eliminate Polio in the world, last week Africa was declared Polio Free, be assured that by 2030 Uganda will be Malaria free…’
As the management of the foundation, the Board of Directors will be responsible for developing and implementing strategies to mobilise commitments for advocacy, resources, and technical assistance.
The Board of Directors will meet quarterly to review the status of malaria in Uganda and the challenges that are limiting the implementation of the national strategic plan (presented by the NMCD); mobilise commitments to address these challenges; and hold each other mutually accountable for the implementation of prior commitments.
As representatives of important and influential institutions and sectors, the Board Members will engage their sectors and broader networks between meetings to mobilise commitments for advocacy, resources, and technical assistance. Mobilised commitments will be documented and tracked in a joint workplan, which will ensure transparency and accountability. Board Members will also act as malaria champions and seek out opportunities to engage the media, communities, and other leaders to promote malaria as a priority.
The Board will administer a fund that will pool financial donations from domestic and international donors. Donated resources will be kept in an independent fund account that is subject to quarterly financial disclosures, strict financial controls, prohibitions on conflicts of interest and self-dealing, and annual audits. This fund will then make grants to the NMCD and its partners to finance unfunded activities under the national strategic plan.
The Board may also organise an annual forum to enable participation of a broad set of stakeholders that will meet to discuss best practices, ongoing challenges, and how potential solutions.
Who will support the Board of Directors?
An independent administrative secretariat will be established and appointed by the Board to support the tracking of commitments, financial oversight and reporting, and organisation of quarterly Board meetings and the annual malaria forum. This secretariat may be supported by partners, donors, and the Board. The technical working groups that support the NMCD will also provide technical guidance and support to the Board of Directors.
The Board is composed of:
- Mr. Kenneth Mugisha, Rotarian Malaria Partners Uganda
- Mr. Patrick Bitature, Chairman Simba Group
- Mr. Solomon Ossiya, Rotarian Malaria Partners Uganda
- Ms. Lillian Ajarova, CEO, Uganda Tourism Board
- Mr. Fabian Kasi, CEO, Centenary Bank,
- Ms. Barbara Mulwana, Chairperson Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA)
- Mr. Harrison Mutikanga, CEO, Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited
- Ms. Proscovia Nabbanja, CEO, Uganda National Oil Company
- Ms. Sylvia Arinaitwe, Dep. MD, National Water & Sewerage Corporation
- Ms. Juliet Kyokunda, CEO Uganda Biodiversity Fund
- Mr. Bildard Buguma, MD, Joint Medical Stores