Malaria remains one of the greatest public health crises of our time. Though we have achieved great progress over the last 15 years—averting hundreds of thousands of new infections and cutting malaria-related deaths in half—the pandemic continues to ravage many parts of the world, and still claims the life of a child every two minutes. Time is of the essence, and it is our collective responsibility to build on our progress with deliberate haste.
That is why today I applaud the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) for announcing four new country programs in Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Niger, and Sierra Leone, and expanding their program in Burkina Faso. PMI’s expansion will assist these countries to be on-track to reduce malaria-related deaths and incidence by 40% by 2020. The expansion also benefits almost 90 million additional people at risk of malaria and contributes to ensuring availability of effective malaria prevention and control interventions to approximately 332 million people at risk across the west-to-central African corridor from Senegal to Cameroon. This is the latest in a long line of commitments from the U.S. Government to combat malaria since PMI’s founding in 2005.
Such demonstrations of leadership and unwavering commitment bring us closer to fulfilling our ambitious but achievable goal of ending the malaria epidemic within our lifetimes. I am confident that with our continued diligence we will see our aspiration of a malaria-free world become a reality.