As President Obama reflected on his time in office and his vision for the future in his final State of the Union address, he highlighted the fact that the end is in sight for malaria and HIV/AIDS.
“Right now, we’re on track to end the scourge of HIV/AIDS. That’s within our grasp. And we have the chance to accomplish the same thing with malaria. Something I’ll be pushing this Congress to fund this year,” the President said.
President Obama has supported and expanded funding for global malaria programs as part of a robust health and development agenda. His administration’s actions to combat this disease around the world have averted millions of deaths.
Malaria No More commends President Obama for making malaria a key component of his global health agenda:
“We recognize the continued leadership of President Obama and his administration for the tremendous efforts they have made in fighting the scourge of malaria. The simple fact is that, thanks to the president’s leadership and that of bipartisan champions in Congress, millions of people who would have succumbed to malaria, mostly mothers and children, are alive today,” said Martin Edlund, CEO of Malaria No More.
Since 2000, interventions supported by the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria have averted approximately 6.2 million malaria-related deaths, leading to a 60 percent decline in global malaria deaths. Half of the countries in the world are malaria free. However, challenges remain. Half of the world’s population lives in areas where malaria is still present, and an estimated 438,000 people died in 2014 from this entirely preventable and treatable disease. The global burden of malaria is heavily concentrated in 15 countries, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa, accounting for nearly 90 percent of global malaria cases.
Support for malaria prevention and treatment efforts in the United States is bipartisan, spanning the last two administrations and significant changes in Congress over the last decade. The United States must continue to be a leader in fighting this disease by supporting the research and development of new diagnostic tools, antimalarial medications and vaccines so we can achieve the ultimate goal of eradicating the world’s oldest and deadliest disease.