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USAID Recognizes World Malaria Day
Date:4/24/2009

WASHINGTON, April 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement from U.S. Malaria Coordinator, Admiral Tim Ziemer on World Malaria Day:

Across Africa, young boys and girls wake up each morning just like children here in the Washington D.C. area. The children are no different; they do chores, eat, play sports, and go to school. That is, if they can survive the mosquito bites that transmit the deadly malaria parasites. Those parasites kill an estimated 3,000 children each day in Africa.

While malaria has been all but forgotten in the United States, it remains the leading cause of death for children under 5 in Africa, killing approximately 1 million people a year.

Malaria is often referred to as a disease of poverty as it mostly afflicts those who are least able to afford prevention and treatment services. Economic losses due to malaria in Africa are estimated to be about US$12 billion per year. Men and women are kept from work, children from school, and many families are forced to use much of their modest discretionary income to pay for expensive malaria treatments.

Each year on April 25 the world recognizes World Malaria Day to call attention to the disease and to mobilize action to combat it. I hope that soon we can celebrate the elimination of malaria as a major public health threat.

On behalf of the American people, the U.S. government has taken extraordinary steps to curb the spread of this preventable and curable disease. In 2005, $1.2 billion was committed with the goal of reducing malaria-related deaths by 50 percent in 15 of the most malaria endemic countries in Africa. In addition to a dramatic increase in funding, there was a very focused and clear commitment to contribute to expanding coverage of highly effective malaria prevention and treatment interventions to 85 percent of the most vulnerable populations -- children under 5 and pregnant women. '/>"/>

SOURCE U.S. Agency for International Development
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