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U.S. Malaria Initiative Releases Third Annual Report
Date:4/23/2009

WASHINGTON, April 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United States, through the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI), has helped 15 high burden countries in Africa to dramatically scale up highly effective malaria prevention and treatment interventions, according to the PMI third annual malaria report released today.

Working with other development partners, the PMI has helped Rwanda, Zambia, and Zanzibar to achieve major reductions in the number of people infected with malaria. Declines at the regional and district-level have also been reported from Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda. These achievements have been associated with substantially reduced mortality rates of children under the age of 5 in both Rwanda and Zambia.

PMI represents an historic $1.2 billion, five-year expansion of U.S. government resources to fight malaria in Africa, the region most affected by this disease. The goal of this initiative, which is led by the U.S. Agency for International Development and implemented together with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is to reduce malaria-related deaths by 50 percent in the 15 African countries with a high burden of the disease, leading to the possibility of a better life for those spared the ravages if this life-threatening disease.

Malaria is one of the major causes of illness and death among children in Africa and adversely affects productivity among all age groups. Malaria and poverty are closely linked. Economists estimate that malaria accounts for approximately 40 percent of public health expenditures in Africa and causes an annual loss of $12 billion, or 1.3 percent, of the continent's gross domestic product.

Working in partnership with national governments and other donors, PMI has helped rapidly scale up malaria prevention and treatment measures by delivering a package of high impact interventions that includes: insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs), indoor residual spraying (IRS) with insecticides, intermittent preventive treatment for pregnant women (IPTp), and artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) for malaria infections.

In 2008, PMI procured more than 6.4 million long-lasting ITNs for free distribution to pregnant women and young children and a total of 15.6 million ACT treatments. Indoor residual spraying activities covered 6 million houses and protected nearly 25 million people at risk of malaria. In addition, PMI supported a broad range of programs to strengthen health systems and health education in host countries.

USAID partnerships with host country governments; the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; the World Bank Booster Program for Malaria Control; the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and others have made these successes possible.

In addition, partnerships with faith-based and community organizations are bringing value to malaria control efforts because of the credibility these groups have within their communities, their ability to reach the grassroots level, and their capacity to mobilize significant numbers of volunteers. PMI has supported more than 150 nonprofit organizations, over 40 of which are faith based.

To access the Third Annual Malaria Report and Executive Summary, visit http://www.pmi.gov/resources/reports/pmi_annual_report09.pdf and http://www.pmi.gov/resources/reports/pmi_annual_execsum09.pdf.

For more information about USAID and its malaria programs, visit www.usaid.gov.

Public Information: 202-712-4810


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SOURCE U.S. Agency for International Development
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