Continued investment in PMI is critical to protecting historic gains against the world’s oldest, deadliest disease and responding to new diseases including COVID-19
Seattle, June 30, 2020 – Malaria No More commends the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) on 15 years of transformative impact in the global fight against malaria, which helped put the world on a path to ending the disease. PMI’s continued leadership is essential to saving more lives and helping the world respond to COVID-19 and other emerging health threats.
Today marks the 15-year anniversary since PMI’s inception under President George W. Bush. PMI is one of the most effective U.S. investments in global health; it has been a lead contributor to global efforts that have saved more than 7 million lives and prevented more than 1 billion malaria cases since 2000.
“The creation of PMI fifteen years ago marked a turning point in the global fight against malaria—kickstarting a dramatic increase in funding, accelerating innovations and attracting a wide range of new partners to the global effort,” said Martin Edlund, CEO of Malaria No More. “With expanded investment at this pivotal moment, PMI can protect the historic gains we’ve made against malaria, while also equipping the world to tackle COVID-19 and future pandemics.”
With strong bipartisan support from Congress since its founding in 2005, PMI grew from an initial three focus-countries, to 24 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and three countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion in Southeast Asia. PMI’s focus on capacity building and infrastructure encourages country ownership and greater domestic investment in fighting malaria. Today, PMI’s life-saving work protects more than 570 million people at risk of malaria.
For the past 15 years, working with country and global partners, PMI’s leadership has been instrumental in scaling up every major innovation in the malaria campaign—from scaling long-lasting insecticide-treated net usage, and introducing rapid diagnostic tests at the community level through frontline health workers, to speeding the transition to more effective treatments for children and pregnant women, and harnessing data for better decision making. The 2019 World Malaria Report confirmed that malaria cases and deaths have reached their lowest levels ever. However, every two minutes, a child still dies of malaria and more than 200 million people were infected in 2018.
“Ending malaria is among the most cost-effective public health interventions we can make to improve the lives of the most vulnerable. Thanks in large part to PMI, a child has a better chance of survival than at any other point in history,” said John Bridgeland, co-founder and vice chairman of Malaria No More and former director of the White House Domestic Policy Council under President Bush. “In addition to better health outcomes, PMI countries have seen gains in education, productivity and economic development.”
Recently, the World Health Organization warned that malaria deaths could double this year to a rate we haven’t seen in 20 years if malaria programs are severely interrupted due to COVID-19. A new survey by the Global Fund confirms that program disruptions are already happening.
“Especially during the pandemic, it’s essential that countries with a high malaria burden have effective malaria prevention programs to ensure their hospitals and clinics have the capacity needed for COVID patients,” said Lowrey Redmond, chief growth officer at Malaria No More. “Fifteen years of U.S. investments in PMI have increased country capacities by training frontline health workers and improving lab and surveillance in ways that can be leveraged to respond to COVID-19 in Africa and Asia.”
For more information, contact Taylor Prochnow at +1 206-605-4090 or Taylor.Prochnow@MalariaNoMore.org.
About Malaria No More
Malaria No More envisions a world where no one dies from a mosquito bite. Launched at the 2006 White House Summit on Malaria, our work has contributed to historic progress toward this goal. Now, we’re mobilizing the political commitment, funding, and innovation required to achieve what would be one of the greatest humanitarian accomplishments – ending malaria within our generation. For more information, visit www.malarianomore.org.