World Malaria Day (April 25) is not just a day to celebrate successes and reflect on challenges in the fight against this deadly yet preventable disease. For United to Beat Malaria’s Champions and partners, this week was an opportunity to take action in their communities and on Capitol Hill. Here’s a recap of the impact that our community made this week.
On World Malaria Day, the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) made a major announcement, sharing its plans to form partnerships with three new countries: Burundi, The Gambia, and Togo, which together carry 6.5% of the global malaria burden. These new partnerships, the first country expansion since 2017, bring the total number of PMI partner countries and programs to 30, with 27 in sub-Saharan Africa and three in Southeast Asia’s Greater Mekong subregion.
President Joe Biden celebrated PMI’s announcement in a World Malaria Day statement: “Thanks to the generosity of the American people and the strong and sustained bipartisan leadership on this issue in Congress, the United States and our global partners have helped save more than 11.7 million lives and prevent 2 billion malaria infections around the world—strengthening families, communities, and nations,” President Biden said. ” I am proud that [PMI] … is adding three new partners: Burundi, The Gambia, and Togo. This will help bring life-saving tools and treatments to more people in need.”
This is a major win for the global malaria community – including Beat Malaria Champions, whose persistent advocacy throughout the year helped secure a $20 million increase in PMI funding for Fiscal Year 2023, which was vital for expanding PMI’s work across its country programs. To learn more about PMI’s new partnerships, read our blog post.
PMI’s expansion was one of many exciting developments highlighted during Wednesday’s Malaria Champions Breakfast on Capitol Hill. This event – co-hosted by United to Beat Malaria, Malaria No More, the Malaria Roundtable, and the Senate Caucus on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) – brought together Congressional champions from both parties; leaders from The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria and the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative; groundbreaking scientists from the US and Africa; and passionate advocates and malaria survivors.
This year’s theme focused on US-led malaria innovations, of which several were highlighted: vaccines, next-generation bed nets, spatial repellants, and monoclonal antibodies, among others. The event also underscored some of the greatest threats in the fight against malaria, including insecticide and drug resistance, funding shortages and supply chain challenges, the rapid spread of an evasive mosquito vector (Anopheles Stephensi), and challenges reaching displaced populations exacerbated by conflict and climate change.
For more highlights from this inspiring event, read Malaria No More’s recap.
More exciting news from Capitol Hill: this week, members of the Congressional Malaria and NTD Caucus introduced House and Senate bills in commemoration of World Malaria Day. These bills both reaffirm continued US leadership in the Global Fund, PMI, and other global malaria programs; welcome public-private partnerships to develop and scale up innovative new tools; and encourage others in the international community to sustain or increase their financial contributions to malaria programs.
Across the country, Beat Malaria Champions took part in a week of action-taking. Thus far, Champions from 19 states have sent our World Malaria Day petition to 115 Members of Congress; this petition calls for increased funding of Global Fund, PMI, and other US-funded malaria programs. In addition, numerous Champions called their Congressional offices, drafted letters-to-the-editor and submitted them to their local news outlets, and engaged with their lawmakers on social media. The collage below features a few World Malaria Day posts from Members of Congress.
Big shoutout to all our amazing Champions for sending a strong unified message this World Malaria to help ensure that malaria continues to be a priority in the halls of Congress and in communities across the country.
If you’d like to become a Beat Malaria Champion, text “CHAMPION” to 30644.
World Malaria Day marked the first day of our second annual Move Against Malaria 5K. Between April 25-May 7, over 250 supporters across eight countries are taking part in this walk-run event to raise funds, awareness and support for lifesaving malaria tools and programs. One of those countries is Vietnam, where our friends at Vestergaard organized a group walk-run earlier this week (see image below).
Thank you to all who’ve registered and a special shoutout to those who have gone above and beyond to mobilize large groups and raise funds. Through this global event, we’ve raised nearly $20,000 thus far, which will support vital malaria prevention and treatment programs.
Speaking of fundraising, earlier this month we launched an emergency fundraising appeal to aid the humanitarian crisis in Madagascar. This island nation has endured a devastating cycle of severe droughts and tropical storms in recent years. These climate shocks have caused catastrophic food shortages and fueled a surge of malaria. We’re raising funds to provide urgently needed malaria treatments, diagnostics, and insecticide-treated bed nets to vulnerable communities across Madagascar.
Our urgent appeal was a huge success, thanks to you – our generous supporters! We raised over $250,000 to support our work in Madagascar. These funds will enable our UN partners to reach tens of thousands of Madagascan children, mothers, and pregnant women with life-saving malaria interventions. Thank you for your incredible generosity!
In case you missed it, the latest Johns Hopkins Malaria Minute podcast – Meet the Americans Passionate About Ending Malaria For Good – highlighted our Leadership Summit and featured several Beat Malaria Champions.
We recently launched a new series, Malaria Gamechangers, that highlights game-changing innovations in the fight against malaria. Episode 1 focused on genetically-modified mosquitoes, while episode 2 focused on next-generation bed nets. Stay tuned as we roll out new episodes each week through the month of May.