Anti-Malaria Organizations Issue a Joint Statement Calling for $3 Billion Globally to Effectively Control Malaria

| 25 Apr 2007
PR Newswire

Anti-Malaria Organizations Issue a Joint Statement Calling for $3 Billion Globally to Effectively Control Malaria

WASHINGTON, April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, in observance of Africa Malaria Day and the first ever Malaria Awareness Day in the U.S., more than forty organizations dedicated to the global fight against malaria issued a joint statement emphasizing the need for increased funds from the U.S. Government and other sources, a move that would ultimately increase collaborative efforts needed to control the malaria epidemic. This mosquito-borne disease kills over one million people a year, most of them children under five.

"Malaria is not only preventable, it also can be treated successfully," said Dr. Nils Daulaire, president of the Global Health Council. "If we invest in the interventions that work -- bed nets, therapeutic drugs, and insecticides that kill mosquitoes -- we will save lives and decrease the burden of this disease. We need a firm commitment from Congress to continue their support for the fight against malaria."

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria is currently the largest source of malaria program funding. It has approved $2.6 billion in grants for 117 malaria programs in 85 countries. The World Bank has committed $500 million to support control efforts. The President's Malaria Initiative (PMI) also plays a significant role, pledging $1.2 billion to support programs in 15 African countries. The U.S. Congress appropriated record-setting funding increases for the PMI and the Global Fund in fiscal year 2007; appropriating $248 million and $724 million respectively. The joint statement applauds the renewed commitment of the U.S. Government in the global effort to stop malaria.

"While enormous progress has been made to prevent malaria in some of the poorest countries in the world, more can be done to fight this disease and save lives," said Natasha Bilimoria, Executive Director of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. "With the help of the Global Fund, 18 million bed nets have already been delivered to protect families. We encourage Congress to continue their support for the Global Fund."

According to the statement, these funds translate directly into saving lives. For example, in addition to the bed nets distributed with help from the Global Fund, over 5.3 million patients were treated with artemisinin-based combination therapies, a medicine used to effectively treat malaria within three days. The statement highlights hope for the future noting that more than 23 types of malaria vaccines are at some stage of development.

Finally, the statement also notes that progress in fighting malaria in the most recent two years offers great promise. Partnership has been a big part of that success, according to the statement, including public, private and NGO groups: "Governments, private donors, advocates, program implementers and affected communities have joined forces to fight malaria. Advocacy networks have emerged in the U.S., the U.K., France, Belgium, Cameroon, Mozambique and Ethiopia. Grassroots campaigns exist in the US and the Netherlands. Public-private partnerships continue to work toward new tools and technologies." Additionally, the statement identifies the global need of $3 billion for malaria control, and calls on the U.S. government to make a clear and firm commitment by supporting efforts to reduce the burden of malaria worldwide.

 Organizations who signed the statement include:

Global Health Council
Africa Fighting Malaria
Development Finance International, Inc.
Friends of the Global Fight
American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Exxon Mobil
US Coalition for Child Survival
American Mosquito Control Association
Malaria Foundation International
Integrated Malaria Management Consortium (IMMC Inc.)
Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center for
Communication Programs
Roll Back Malaria Partnership
UN Foundation
Johns Hopkins Program for International Education in Reproductive Health
Christian Children's Fund
Families USA
American Red Cross
Malaria No More
Academy for Educational Development
Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV)
Project Concern International
Center for Islamic Pluralism
hedge funds vs. malaria
American Refugee Committee
Illinois Policy Institute
Population Services International
Congress of Racial Equality
International Medical Corps
Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow
Liberal Bangla
IPARC -- Imperial College
Food for the Hungry
American Council on Science and Health
Malaria Control Society
Dunk Malaria
African Communities Against Malaria
Iyalode Tejuoso Malaria Foundation