Seattle, April 25, 2018 – Today, on World Malaria Day, Malaria No More celebrates commitments demonstrating that countries around the world are ready to beat malaria. In collaboration with governments, non-government organizations, communities and private sector partners, in the U.S., Haiti, Cameroon, Kenya, and India, Malaria No More is mobilizing the political leadership and funding needed to ensure no one dies from a mosquito bite.
Since 2000, global deaths from malaria have fallen by 60 percent, saving 7 million lives. Today, however, the world is at a crossroads in the malaria fight. According to the World Malaria Report 2017, malaria cases increased for the first time in over a decade as progress to decrease malaria-related deaths has stalled. Yet, at the same time, 44 countries have fewer than 10,000 cases, and approximately 20 of them are on track to eliminate malaria by 2020.
“At this critical moment in the malaria fight, we can’t afford to let our foot off the gas. The highest-burden countries need support to get back on track, while those countries nearing elimination need help getting to zero. The United States continues to lead on malaria, and the game-changing funding-, political- and technology-commitments made last week by government, philanthropic and business leaders are a huge step toward making our generation the last one to contend with malaria,” said Martin Edlund, CEO of Malaria No More.
Last week, Malaria No More welcomed the pledge by leaders at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to reduce the malaria burden by half in Commonwealth countries by 2023. If achieved, this commitment will prevent 350 million cases of malaria and save an additional 650,000 lives over the next five years. The pledge followed the Malaria Summit, in London, where business leaders, scientists, philanthropists and international organizations announced significant commitments of funding to increase access to life-saving malaria tools and drive the development and use of innovative tools and data strategies.
In Washington, D.C., Congressional and Administration officials will join malaria partners at a reception celebrating the significant impact the U.S. has had in the malaria fight. The U.S. is the largest funder of global anti-malaria efforts through investments in the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, making its sustained commitment critical for advancing the tremendous progress against malaria over the last 15 years.
Thanks to steady commitment and increased resources from the U.S. Congress, in September 2017, PMI expanded to five additional countries, extending its total reach in Sub-Saharan Africa to 24 focus countries and approximately 570 million people, as well as three critical programs combating anti-malarial drug resistance in the Greater Mekong Subregion.
In Port au Prince, Haiti, Malaria No More partnered with the UN Foundation and the Malaria Zero alliance to bring together more than 300 government officials, civil society representatives, scientists and technical partners, to highlight Haiti’s commitment to eliminating malaria by as early as 2020. Hispaniola, which includes Haiti and the Dominican Republic, is the only remaining place in the Caribbean where malaria is still endemic. Yet, with the right resources, partnerships and momentum, Haiti can rid itself from malaria, freeing the Caribbean and bringing the world one step closer to global elimination.
“Over 20 countries are on track to eliminate malaria, including many neighboring countries in the Western Hemisphere. Despite enormous challenges, Haiti is nearing malaria elimination, thanks in large part to the leadership of the Haitian Ministry of Health and international partners,” said Josh Blumenfeld, Managing Director of Global Policy and Advocacy, Malaria No More. “We are proud to celebrate Haiti’s progress toward elimination. Together, we can eliminate malaria from Haiti, and make the Caribbean free from this preventable but deadly disease,”
Cameroon and Kenya
Meanwhile, in Cameroon and Kenya, Malaria No More is commemorating World Malaria Day by supporting each country’s National Malaria Control Program events and outreach, mobilizing media, hosting radio shows with mayors and members of Parliament, running social media awareness campaigns, and rallying local communities to take part in the malaria fight.
One hundred percent of the population in Cameroon and Kenya is at risk of malaria, yet through concerted efforts, both countries are making great strides towards eliminating the disease. Cameroon has increased funding of its malaria efforts by 300 percent since 2014 and experienced a 50 percent decline in malaria mortality rates between 2005-2015. In Kenya, malaria prevalence has decreased from 11 to eight percent between 2010 and 2015, and county-level funding for malaria continues to increase. At last week’s Malaria Summit, President Kenyatta committed to reduce malaria-related mortality by two thirds in the near term and eliminate malaria by 2030, and this past weekend, the governor of Mombasa County committed to ending malaria on Mombasa Island by 2021.
“Over the last decade, we have made considerable progress against malaria but now, more than ever, countries must sustain and even expand these efforts,” said Olivia Ngou, Deputy Director, Africa and Cameroon Country Director, Malaria No More. “We salute the governments of Cameroon and Kenya for prioritizing the fight against malaria and look forward to partnering with them to continue mobilizing funding and ensuring everyone at risk of malaria has access to bed nets and other life-saving malaria tools.”
Malaria No More also is working with India’s National Vector Borne Disease Control Program, alongside the RBM Partnership to End Malaria and the Global Fund, to update the country’s malaria Behavior Change Communication Strategy. This includes fielding knowledge, attitudes and practices surveys, conducting focus groups, and holding meetings with key stakeholders to inform messaging and communication strategies.
“We’re honored to be working with the Central government, state governments and partners to ensure that millions of Indians at risk of malaria can take action to protect their families from this deadly disease,” said Anjali Kaur, Senior Director, Asia Pacific at Malaria No More.
For more information or interview requests, contact Michal Fishman at +1 504-220-2792 or Michal.Fishman@MalariaNoMore.org
About Malaria No More
Malaria No More envisions a world where no one dies from a mosquito bite. More than a decade into our mission, 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