April 25th is Africa Malaria Day worldwide and the first Malaria Awareness Day in the United States.
In observance of this day and in recognition of the tremendous opportunities to reduce the burden that malaria imposes worldwide, we, the undersigned organizations, stand in support of the following statement.
The progress in fighting malaria in the last few years offers great promise. After too many years of debate, there is now widespread agreement about what works for prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Resources to fight malaria have grown considerably. New spokespersons from the developing world and donor countries have begun to relay key messages. Corporations and multilaterals are working together to replenish the development pipeline and bridge the supply gap of essential prevention tools and treatments.
Foundations and other donors have catalyzed investments in new technologies, such as new single dose Artemisinin-based combination Therapies (ACTs), and research into vaccines continues. Some afflicted countries are paving the way for reducing barriers created by import tariffs and malaria service user fees. The world has recognized the toll that malaria takes on the developing world and is poised to respond.
Since 2003, three major malaria programs have emerged providing over a billion dollars for malaria programming in the hardest hit countries. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria is the single largest source of global malaria funding, providing two-thirds of all international financing. The Fund has approved $2.6 billion in grants for 117 malaria programs over five years in 76 countries and $950 million has been disbursed so far. Since it began in 2005, the World Bank Malaria Booster Program for Africa has dedicated $357 million to support 11 operational projects across 14 countries. The President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) has pledged $1.2 billion to support malaria control programs in 15 African countries.
National governments, international agencies, private donors, advocates, program implementers, faith-based organizations and affected communities have joined forces to fight malaria. Advocacy networks have emerged in the US, the UK, France, Belgium, Cameroon, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Zambia, Kenya, Mali, Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda. Grassroots campaigns exist in the US and the Netherlands. Public-private partnerships continue to work toward new tools and technologies. Many of these partners have come together under the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, a global mechanism committed to effective, coordinated action.
Programs are on course to save lives. Global Fund malaria grants have distributed 18 million with Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs). In just 18 months of operation, the PMI has purchased over 1 million ACT treatments, protected over 3 million people through spraying campaigns and distributed over 1 million bed nets. The World Bank Booster Program is on track to commit approximately US$500 million in IDA allocations for malaria control efforts in Africa. Public and private partners are developing innovative malaria solutions. Several new, effective and affordable drugs will soon be available with more than 23 types of malaria vaccines at some stage of development and prevention technologies growing increasingly sophisticated.
TOWARD A MALARIA-FREE FUTURE
Ultimately, a malaria-free future will rely on a comprehensive approach addressing the range of health, development and economic challenges facing developing countries. The malaria community applauds the United States’ commitment to supporting efforts to reduce the burden of malaria worldwide and encourages a sustainable investment to this cause. We are committed not only to this current period of political good will, but to long-term progress supported by a comprehensive, technically-sound and results-driven strategy.
On Africa Malaria Day and Malaria Awareness Day here in the United States, as representatives of the malaria advocacy community, we call for:
- Continued Leadership from the U.S. and partners at all levels to continue the rapid scale-up of malaria control initiatives.
- Effective Partnership to ensure that needed interventions are reaching the people who need them. Working together we can control malaria.
- Sustained Funding to provide the resources to turn the tide against malaria.