Recently, the White House hosted the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) and Nothing But Nets to celebrate 10 years of U.S. leadership in the fight against malaria. The event convened global malaria leaders and included Nothing But Nets Champion and NBA star Stephen Curry.
At the event, PMI unveiled its new six-year malaria strategy. This is an important read, but if you don’t have time to go through it, here are five key things you should know:
- There’s been tremendous progress in the fight against malaria. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that malaria control interventions between 2001 and 2013 saved 4.3 million lives. Of these, 92 percent were children under the age of five. This is obviously incredible news, but a child still dies from this disease every 60 seconds so there’s more work to be done.
- The Millennium Development Goals, developed by the United Nations in 2000 helped focus the international development community’s attention on improving maternal and child health by combatting major infectious disease, including malaria. These efforts have led multilateral and bilateral donors to sharply increase funding for global malaria control and elimination from less than $100 million in 2000 to an estimated $2.7 billion in 2013. Let’s make sure as global leaders develop the world’s next 15-year goals, malaria continues to be a priority.
- Building upon the progress to date, PMI will work with its partners around the world to accomplish three things by 2020:
- Reduce malaria mortality by one third from 2015 levels in PMI-supported countries, an 80 percent reduction from its original 2000 levels.
- Reduce malaria morbidity in PMI-supported countries by 40 percent from 2015 levels.
- Assist at least five PMI-supported countries to meet the WHO criteria for national or sub-national pre-elimination.
- There are still several challenges to defeating malaria for good. One of the most serious threats to progress in malaria control has been the resistance to the artemisinin family of drugs, currently the first-line treatment for P. falciparum malaria in most countries worldwide. Similarly, with the successful increase in insecticide-treated bednets and indoor-residual spraying (IRS), resistance to key insecticides, including pyrethroids and DDT, is growing in a number of countries.
- While these developments represent serious threats, they do not have to derail the progress we’ve made to fight malaria. There is a huge opportunity to scale up new innovations, including a new generation of long-lasting insecticide-treated bednets, a new long-lasting insecticide for IRS, and additional malaria drugs. The use of technology, such as mobile phones and internet, can improve timeliness and quality of malaria data and improve decision making in prevention and treatment.
Nothing But Nets would like to thank the global malaria leaders for sharing their remarks on the fight against malaria at the White House. Featured speakers were: Gayle Smith, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director, National Security Council; PMI Global Coordinator Rear Admiral R. Timothy Ziemer; CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden; Dr. Bernard Nahlen, Deputy Coordinator, U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Dr. David Brandling-Bennett; and, Dr. Fatoumata Nafo Traoré, Executive Director, Roll Back Malaria Partnership.
So are you looking for something to do now to help us defeat malaria? There are three things you can do right now:
- Sign up for our email list to stay up to date and learn about how you can get involved.
- Send an email to your member of Congress to ask them to continue to fully funding malaria prevention programs, including PMI.
- Donate $10 to send a bednet and help us save a life.