• About SARN

    About SARN

    1.0      BACKGROUND

    1.1     The SADC Member States

    The SADC region is made up of 15 Member States (Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Mauritius, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland and United Republic of Tanzania (Mainland and Zanzibar).


    1.2     Malaria burden in the SADC region

    Thus, malaria in the SADC region includes data from the 12 malaria endemic countries (Lesotho, Mauritius and Seychelles do not have malaria). In the SADC region, malaria is a major public health problem and a significant impediment to socio-economic development. Malaria is the second leading cause of morbidity and mortality and responsible for up to 30% of outpatient attendances, 40% of inpatient attendances, 30 million cases of malaria and 400,000 deaths per annum.

    SADC has supported the scaling-up of malaria control interventions over many years with marked achievements and successes in reducing transmission and related malaria morbidity and mortality in some of its Member States. However a high malaria burden still remains in the region.  It is this burden that has raised the profile of malaria within SADC, the African region and globally markedly since 1990s, culminating with the Abuja Declaration in 2000. The Abuja declaration was committed to, by African Heads of State and Government and is a mandate for scale-up of malaria control programme in the African Region. The key goal of the Abuja declaration was to reduce the malaria morbidity and mortality by 50% by 2010.

    In line with the Abuja mandate, the SADC region developed the SADC Malaria Strategic Framework 2007-2015, which was approved by the SADC Health Ministers in Lilongwe, Malawi (26 – 30 March 2007) and endorsed by the Integrated Committee of Ministers in August 2007. The objectives of the Framework are to:

    1. Implement harmonized policies, guidelines and protocols for the provision of malaria control services in all SADC Member States;
    2. Establish a solid partnership and collaboration mechanism in malaria control among Member States and other stakeholders (private sector, NGOs, donors)
    3. Mobilize funding for malaria programs and have it accessible to countries for specific priorities;
    4. Energize and support Member States to eliminate malaria within their national boundaries.

    Concerted efforts by the SADC Member States are required to ensure effective implementation of scale-up interventions in line with the SADC Malaria Strategic Framework.

    In implementing objective no. two of the SADC Malaria Strategic Framework, the region needed to formalize the collaboration and partnerships that existed since the inception of the SADC malaria programme. The partnerships involve the government, private sector, military health services, private sector, NGOs, UN Agencies, foundations, research and academic institutions and communities.  Formalization has been done through establishment of a Partnership Network (Southern Africa Roll Back Malaria Partnership Network (SARN) with support from the RBM Secretariat. The RBM Secretariat secured funds (USD 5,056,468) from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the Network for a period of five years from January 2007 to December 2011.


    The goal and purpose of SARN is to co-ordinate partner support to SADC countries on technical and operational issues for going to scale with effective malaria interventions.


     The objectives of the Network are to:

    1. Facilitate and support partner coordination within SADC and at country level, to scale up malaria control efforts.
    2. Advocate for more resources (financial, technical and material) for malaria control at the country, regional and international levels.
    3. Assist Member States in the identification of implementation challenges and in finding solutions to improve resource utilisation;
    4. Assist countries in conducting gap analysis and needs assessments for a more coordinated response to regional and country needs
    5. Provide a forum for partners to share information and best practices
    6. Assist in identifying and supporting regional centres of excellence (research and academic institutions), as reference points for Member States.


    4.1  Hosting Arrangements

    The SARN Secretariat is hosted by the SADC Secretariat through an MOU signed between the WHO (RBM Secretariat) and the SADC Secretariat.

    4.2     Structure of the SADC Malaria Network

    The network is composed of different partners working on malaria in the Member States and at regional level.  The network consists of the following structures:

    4.2.1  The SARN  Assembly of Constituencies

     The SARN Assembly of Constituencies includes a multi-sectoral membership from all partners/organizations that have expressed interest in aligning themselves with the network. Membership shall be by constituency (institutions) not individuals. These constituencies include: SADC malaria program managers; SADC military malaria managers (military health services); UN agencies; Non Government Organizations (NGOs), private sector; research and academic institutions, foundations; professional bodies, bilateral agencies, communities and other donors.

    The SARN Assembly of Constituencies shall meet once a year, and members may attend as observers any of the SARN meetings organized during the course of the year such as the program managers and SARN Steering Committee meetings.

    All SARN constituencies members are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring the implementation of the SARN Work Plan and participate in Task Forces/Task Teams as may be required.

    4.2.2      The SARN Steering Committee

    The SARN steering committee membership consists of constituencies rather than individuals. The Steering Committee consist of not more than eighteen members to spearhead the Network. Constituencies are required to ensure representation at each of the steering committee meetings. Members of the Steering Committee will serve for a period of two (2) years.

    The co-Chairs shall be elected by the Steering Committee every two years and may be re-elected. The first Steering Committee was chaired by the Chairperson of the SADC Malaria Committee, Swaziland.

    Membership to the Steering Committee includes the chairperson of the SADC malaria technical committee as Ex-Officio member. All constituencies active in the Network have representation on the Steering Committee. In the case of Malaria Managers, Three Managers from Member States serve at a given time, on a rotational basis for one term. 

    The steering committee meets in-person once every three months (they may have more frequent teleconferences as necessary) to review progress in the implementation of the SARN Work Plan.

    The Steering Committee consists of the following constituencies:

    1. SADC Malaria Managers (3)
    2. SADC Military Health Services (2)
    3. WHO-IST (1)
    4. WHO-AFRO (1)
    5. UNICEF (1)
    6. NGO (2)
    7. Research Institution (2)
    8. Private sector (2)
    9. RBM  Secretariat (1)
    10. UNICEF (1)
    11. SADC Secretariat (1)
    12. Foundation (1)

    The current co-chairs were selected by the steering committee from the program managers and the private sector constituencies. The co-chair from the program mangers was selected through a secret vote system during one of the meetings and the other through an electronic vote system organized by the SARN Secretariat. The process included a 2 week notification period prior to voting.  The Steering Committee is guided by the Terms of References (TORS).

    4.2.3      SARN Secretariat

    The Secretariat of the Network is headed by the SARN Focal Point supported by two officers (a) the Knowledge and Information Management Officer (KM) and (b) an Administration and Finance Officer. The SARN Focal Point among other responsibilities ensures that regular reports are collated and sent to SADC Health Ministers and SADC representative on the RBM Board in preparation of the board meeting.  Furthermore, provides secretariat support to the Steering Committee meetings as well as to all the structures of the Network. Monthly SARN progress reports are send to the RBM Secretariat and the Focal Point is expected to attend the weekly RBM staff meeting convened via Teleconference.  The Focal Point also prepares regular updates to the Steering Committee and an annual report to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  

    4.3     SARN Secretariat Reporting Lines/Systems

    4.3.1  The SADC Summit

    The SADC Summit is the supreme body made up of the 15 Member States Heads of States responsible for governance, political guidance and oversight.

    4.3.2  The SADC Secretariat

    The SADC Secretariat is the regional organization that represents the 15 SADC Member States (MS), the administrative/coordinating hub of the region herded by the Executive Secretary (ES), with 2 deputy ESs and directors.

    4.3.2  The SADC Health Ministers Committee

    The SADC Health Ministers Committee is made up of the 15 Member States health ministers responsible for the regional health agenda. The committee like all other committees in the SADC region operates on the basis of a TROIKA – the out-going-current-and-in-coming chairs. The chairship rotates annually. Thus, all technical committees such as the SADC malaria technical committee reports to the SADC Health Ministers and all regional malaria strategic frameworks, policies, guidelines and activities/interventions are approved by the ministers before implementation. During their meetings, the ministers deliberate on proposed decisions and once approved, the decisions can now be implemented. The proposed decisions not approved, are reviewed by the technical committees and then re-submitted during the next ministers sitting.  This process of approval by the health ministers provides political guidance and oversight which gives legitimacy and authenticity to all matters related to malaria and health in the SADC region.

    4.3.3  Reporting

    The SARN Focal Point reports to the Director Social and Human Development and Special Programs (SHD and SP) and functionally reports to the co-Chairs of the SARN.

    The SARN also reports to the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Secretariat through weekly RBM staff meetings and monthly RBM progress reports that are submitted during the last week of each month. In addition, a monthly financial report compiled by the SADC Secretariat Finance section responsible for the SARN funds is send to the RBM Secretariat.

    The RBM Board holds its meeting twice a year and the Focal Point together with the co-chairs are required to prepare pre-read board reports, brief the Southern African endemic countries RBM board member at least twice a year and this should be done before each board meeting. During the board meetings, the Focal Point and the co-chairs are expected to provide maximum technical support to the board member. The co-chairs are required to present the SARN report during the board meetings. SARN Secretariat is also required to prepare presentations and display materials for the market place held during the board meetings.

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