The United States President’s Malaria Initiative, led by the U.S. Agency for International Development and implemented together with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), launched its next six-year strategy to further reduce malaria deaths and substantially decrease malaria illness, toward the long-term goal of elimination at the White House today.
The U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), launched by President George W. Bush in 2005, and expanded under President Barack Obama, is a major catalyst in the remarkable progress that has been made to save children’s lives while also building countries’ capacity to fight malaria.
Between 2001 and 2013, malaria mortality rates decreased globally by 47 percent and by 54 percent in Africa alone. It is estimated that more than 4 million malaria-related deaths were averted worldwide in this time period – 95 percent of these are estimated to have been children under the age of 5 in Africa. The majority of this progress has occurred since 2007.
All 15 original PMI focus countries have documented significant declines in all-cause mortality rates among children under the age of 5; these reductions range from 16 percent to 50 percent.
“PMI is emblematic of what our country has to offer in terms of commitment, intellect, and energy. As Ambassador to Tanzania, I was inspired to see first-hand the impact we made in so many communities. As I met mothers and children, village chiefs and faith leaders, malaria program managers and district medical officers, community health volunteers and doctors and nurses, I heard how important PMI was to them and how much of a difference we are making,” said Acting Administrator Alfonso Lenhardt.
Building upon the progress to date in partner countries, PMI will work with national malaria control programs to accomplish the following objectives by 2020 by reducing malaria mortality by one-third from 2015 levels in PMI-supported countries, achieving a greater than 80 percent reduction from PMI’s original 2000 baseline levels; reducing malaria morbidity in PMI-supported countries by 40 percent from 2015 levels and assisting at least five PMI-supported countries to meet the WHO criteria for national or sub-national pre-elimination.
“We recommit to bringing the tools and effective solutions we already possess to people in need, where they live, in rural communities; and continuing to invest in research and development for new and improved tools to combat this disease, from vaccines to new drugs to more sensitive diagnostics and surveillance systems, we will get much closer to a world without malaria,” said Rear Admiral (RET) Tim Ziemer, U.S. Global Malaria Coordinator.