Congress Pledges Support for Malaria Fight on World Malaria Day

WASHINGTON D.C. (April 26, 2016) Congressional champions gathered last week – just ahead of World Malaria Day, April 25, 2016 – to mark the important day and reflect on the successes and challenges facing leaders in the malaria fight

At a reception commemorating World Malaria Day on Capitol Hill, Malaria No More, the Malaria Roundtable, and the Interfaith Working Group on Foreign Assistance, in conjunction with the Congressional Caucuses on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases, highlighted the significant successes made possible by U.S. government funding and programs. The reception brought together the co-chairs of the Congressional Malaria Caucuses, administration and Department of Defense officials, and the malaria community.

At the reception, which was themed “End Malaria for Good,” representatives from both parties of Congress spoke of the need for sustained political commitment.

“I am pleased to support America’s continued leadership in the global fight against malaria,” said Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS). “Prevention and control programs under the President’s Malaria Initiative, reinforced with groundbreaking research by the U.S. Army, have had a tremendous impact on fighting this preventable disease for the 3.2 billion people who are at risk of contracting it.”

“Malaria is a preventable, treatable illness, yet it is still a leading cause of death in many developing countries around the world,” said Senator Chris Coons (D-DE). “Malaria is a health, humanitarian, security and economic challenge that requires us all to work together to solve. I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing a resolution affirming our commitment to ending preventable deaths from malaria once and for all.”

Congressman Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) said: “On World Malaria Day, we mark advances and reaffirm a continued fight against this devastating, but 100 percent treatable and preventable disease. While malaria has ravaged so many and remains a top concern for our troops—the No. 1 infectious disease threat to U.S. military overseas—progress has been made possible through the dedication and teamwork of so many organizations at home and around the globe. Make no mistake, I remain committed to supporting investments and programs that will bolster our gains and rid the world of malaria for good.”

Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-NY) stated, “Although Americans are not living under the threat of malaria, as world citizens who are concerned about our fellow man and woman, we have to come together to jointly set our sights on finally eradicating malaria. Democrats and Republicans must join together on this issue. And that’s exactly what we’ve done. We can’t agree on a budget, but we all agree that malaria should be a threat of the past.”

Malaria No More applauds the essential leadership of Congress, and will continue working with members to elevate this vital global health, stability and security issue.

Senators Wicker and Coons introduced the 2016 World Malaria Day Resolution, which highlights the sustained U.S government focus and commitment to eliminate the disease. Efforts of both the Bush and Obama administrations and the steadfast bipartisan leadership in Congress have led to unprecedented progress, and elimination is within sight.

This important resolution reaffirms U.S. support for key malaria programs, such as the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the important programs at the Department of Defense and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as others that contribute to combatting this entirely preventable and deadly disease.

The resolution, which highlights the significant successes and global challenges in the fight against malaria, was lead by Senator Roger Wicker, co-chair of the Senate Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases Caucus, along with Senators Chris Coons, Richard Durbin (D-IL), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), John Boozman (R-AR), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Patty Murray (D-WA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

Malaria remains a leading cause of death and disease in half of the world’s population. Since 2000, there has been a 60 percent reduction in the rate of deaths from malaria and 6.2 million lives have been saved. In addition to supporting global health priorities, reducing malaria helps counteract instability in less developed nations and advances U.S. diplomacy and national security efforts.

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