Congress Applauded For Increasing Funds In FY07 For President's Malaria Initiative, Global Fund To Fight AIDS, TB, And Malaria

JHUCCP | 21 Feb 2007
Medical News Today
Malaria advocates today offered sincere thanks to the U.S. Congress for agreeing to support a major increase in funds to combat malaria in fiscal year 2007. Malaria kills one million people each year, mostly children under age five living in sub-Saharan Africa.

They cheered the 110th Congress' decision to spend $248 million on bilateral aid for malaria programs that includes the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI) and raise the U.S. contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to $724 million. An estimated $195 million of the Global Fund contribution will go to fighting malaria.

This level of spending went above what the President requested for fiscal 2007 and what the 109th Congress approved last fall. Special thanks go out to Representatives David Obey, Barbara Lee, Nita Lowey, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senators Patrick Leahy, Robert Byrd, Harry Reid, and Sam Brownback. These individuals are demonstrating true commitment and leadership in dealing with today's global health issues.

"PMI now has the support it needs to begin making a major impact this year in Malawi, Rwanda, Mozambique and Senegal," said Roll Back Malaria Executive Secretary Awa Coll-Seck, referring to the four countries added last year to PMI's target list. "We are now seeing great results from the first three PMI countries: Uganda, Tanzania, and Angola."

PMI in December finalized its list of 15 focus countries when it added Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Madagascar, and Zambia. Activities in these eight countries will begin in fiscal year 2008. According to PMI, six million have received life-saving malaria prevention and treatment since PMI's inception in 2005.

Congress clearly sees the role the U.S. can play as a leader in the fight against malaria. Malaria is preventable and treatable, and this funding will provide effective programs with the resources to save hundreds of thousands of lives. PMI interventions include indoor-residual spraying with insecticides, insecticide-treated bed nets, preventive treatment for pregnant women, and life-saving anti-malarial drugs, such as Artemisinin-based combination therapies.

PMI partners with the Global Fund and other organizations in endemic countries in its efforts to save lives. These efforts are often coordinated by the RBM Partnership. Because of its increased contribution to the Global Fund, the U.S. is in a position to urge other donor nations to increase their assistance. The Global Fund estimates that it provides two-thirds of the money spent on global malaria control efforts.

The letter was signed by a diverse group of organizations including:

-- Africa Fighting Malaria
-- African Communities Against Malaria
-- Center for Private Sector Health Initiatives Academy for Educational
Development
-- Centre for Bioethics in Eastern and Southern Africa
-- Christian Children's Fund
-- College of Medicine, University of Malawi
-- Friends of the Global Fight
-- Global Health Council
-- Glyn Hunter International
-- Hedge Funds vs. Malaria
-- Jambiani ITN Project
-- Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs
-- Liberal Bangla
-- LIHEDE, Inc.
-- Malaria No More
-- Minnesota International Health Volunteers
-- Roll Back Malaria Partnership Secretariat, Hosted by the World Health
Organisation
-- Rwanda Village Concept Project
-- UN Foundation
-- Vestergaard-Frandsen
-- Yaounde Initiative Foundation

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