Press Release 2008
U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative, Ethiopia Commemorate World Malaria Day
Friday, April 25, 2008 Addis Ababa (U.S. Embassy)
Today marks World Malaria Day and a renewed commitment between the United States and Ethiopia to raise global awareness of malaria, to celebrate progress, and to reaffirm their commitment to fighting the disease.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) participated in a three-day annual review meeting in Awassa this week where government leaders, health experts, and development partners joined together to share knowledge and increase understanding of malaria. USAID helped support the meeting by providing thousands of T-shirts and caps, as well as a mobile van that traveled to surrounding communities to raise awareness of malaria.
“On World Malaria Day, Americans stand in solidarity with Ethiopia and communities across the globe in the fight against malaria,” said Glenn Anders, USAID Mission Director. “Today, we commemorate World Malaria Day with you, celebrate your achievements, and rededicate our historic partnership between Ethiopia and the United States to defeat this preventable and treatable killer.”
The World Malaria Day theme, “Disease Without Borders,” highlights malaria as a global emergency that knows no borders. President Bush's $1.2 billion malaria initiative over five years shows an unprecedented commitment in the fight against malaria. The goals of the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) are to reduce by 50 percent the number of deaths from malaria in 15 target countries by reaching 85 percent of the most vulnerable groups —- children under five years of age and pregnant women — with proven and effective prevention and treatment measures. This includes residual indoor spraying of households with insecticides; the distribution of long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs) to families; intermittent, presumptive treatment of pregnant women with antimalarials; and the roll-out of new, lifesaving, artemesinin-combination therapy to treat patients with malaria.
There is now evidence in at least four African countries that an impact on malaria transmission is being achieved through the Initiative. For example, in Zanzibar, the percentage of children who tested positive for malaria dropped from 22 percent in 2005 to less than 1 percent in 2007 after the distribution of long-lasting ITNs and indoor residual spraying. In Malawi, where coverage with insecticide-treated nets has increased rapidly over the past several years, a 2007 household survey in six districts showed a 43% decline in severe anemia among children aged 6 to 30 months, when compared with 2005.
Led by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), PMI is working with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the World Bank Booster Program for Malaria Control, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, public and private sector partners such as Malaria No More, the UN Foundation, and a host of others to ramp up comprehensive malaria control efforts across the continent.
In the first year, PMI reached over 6 million people in the initial 3 countries with malaria prevention and treatment activities. In just its second year of operation, more than 25 million people have benefited from PMI interventions.
Ethiopia became one of the focus countries for PMI last year. This year’s funding of $20 million will be spent primarily in the Oromiya Region, which suffers most from the country’s malaria burden. For more information, please visit www.usaid.gov and www.fightingmalaria.gov.