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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 mos
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SOURCE U.S. Agency for International Development
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