On April 25, the United States will join the global community in observing World Malaria Day. We have made progress on prevention and control since the first World Malaria Day in 2007, but there is much more to do to stop the spread of this preventable and curable disease.
Malaria is one of the greatest threats to the health of nearly half the world’s population. It is the fifth leading cause of death from infectious diseases worldwide and the second leading cause of death in Africa, after HIV/AIDS. The most vulnerable among us — children, pregnant women, and people living with HIV/AIDS — are the hardest hit by malaria.
The United States is committed to reducing the threat of malaria worldwide through the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI), led by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Global Health Initiative will help coordinate PMI efforts with broader health goals of both the U.S. government and our in-country partners.
On Thursday, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, the President’s Malaria Initiative Coordinator Rear Admiral Tim Ziemer, and CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden released our new six-year strategy to combat malaria. By 2014, our goal is to cut malaria illnesses and deaths by 50 percent in most affected countries of sub-Saharan Africa. We are also working to curtail the spread of drug resistant disease in Southeast Asia and the Americas.
On this World Malaria Day, I reaffirm our commitment to the goal of ridding the world of this disease once and for all.