By Chioma Umeha
Malaria No More has announced that the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), the leading U.S. Government body working to prevent and control the disease across the globe has expanded its programme and is planning to protect additional 90 million people.
PMI has directly saved the lives of 1.7 million children and has overall contributed to saving nearly seven million lives since its creation in 2005.
Mark Green, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator announced this weekend, during the event, tagged, “The Role of Country Leadership in Accelerating Global Malaria Elimination,” at the United Nations, saying, “the U.S. will launch new programmes in Cameroon, Côte D’Ivoire, Niger, and Sierra Leone, while expanding its programme in Burkina Faso.”
The expansion will help further strengthen healthcare systems and bring more core malaria-fighting tools, including life-saving bed nets, anti-malarial treatments, and diagnostic tests, to an additional 90 million people at risk of malaria.
In 2005, when President George W. Bush created PMI and the U.S. Congress began committing substantial funding to fight malaria, nearly one million children and pregnant women were dying from malaria each year.
During the past decade, smart investments by PMI have helped reduce malaria deaths of young children by more than half.
“PMI is one of the best examples of effective aid and partnership between the United States and countries in Africa,” said Martin Edlund, CEO of Malaria No More.
“Expanded commitment from the United States will enable us to build on the historic health and economic gains we’ve made, and put Africa on the path to achieving its stated goal of malaria elimination.”
Africa carries the highest malaria burden, accounting for 195 million of the 212 million, or 90 per cent, of new malaria cases globally, and 394,000 deaths in 2015.
Today’s announcement follows President Donald J. Trump praising U.S. leadership in humanitarian assistance and investments in the fight to end malaria.
“The United States continues to lead the world in humanitarian assistance,” said President Trump during his first speech in front of the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.
“We have invested in better health and opportunity all over the world through programs like PEPFAR, which funds AIDS relief, the President’s Malaria Initiative, and the Global Health Security Agenda.”
This new U.S. Government commitment to fighting malaria will help protect more than 330 million people at risk across the west-to-central African corridor from Senegal to Cameroon.
“The tireless efforts of the Ministry of Public Health and its partners in Cameroon have helped reduce malaria child morbidity by nearly 50 per cent in highly endemic northern regions,” said Olivia Ngou, Cameroon Country Director for Malaria No More.