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By: Lucy Montgomery,  Nothing But Nets

PMI 2021-2026 Strategy, End Malaria Faster

October 19, 2021
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The President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) recently published its 2021-2026 Strategy, End Malaria Faster, prioritizing a holistic, community-centered approach to defeating malaria that aims to strengthen partnerships and response systems using lessons from COVID-19 and other humanitarian crises. PMI’s overarching agenda for the next five years aims to:  

  • Reduce malaria cases by 40 percent  
  • Decrease deaths by 33 percent in partner countries  
  • Eliminate the disease entirely in ten countries  
  • Save more than four million lives  
  • Avert over one billion cases   

Malaria programs do more than save lives. They also help build stable economies, lead to fewer missed school and work days, foster international cooperation, and empower health systems to better respond to other infectious diseases. As champions, you are part of this mission. Each time you meet with Congress, write a Letter to the Editor, share a tweet, or sign a petition, you are part of making these achievements possible.   

To reach their goals, PMI’s End Malaria Faster will prioritize reaching the unreached, strengthening community health systems, keeping malaria resilient, investing locally, and innovating and leading. Established in 2006 to “end one of the world’s deadliest pandemics,” PMI works with 24 partner countries in sub-Saharan Africa and three across the Greater Mekong Subregion in Southeast Asia to intervene with insecticide-treated nets, sprays that kill mosquitos, diagnostic tests, and medicines, and invest in health workers, laboratories, supply chains, surveillance, and other health systems. Since their creation, PMI partner countries have seen a 29 percent decrease in malaria infection rates and a 60 percent reduction in deaths. However, this progress is uneven and can be understood in three categories:  

  1. Countries that see necessary advancements in resources to combat malaria and, consequently, experience a decrease in cases and deaths 
  2. Countries that more recently partnered with PMI, such as Niger and Sierra Leone, that experience reductions but nonetheless continue to face high burdens of infections and death 
  3. Countries that continue to see persistent or increasing case and death rates, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, and Uganda 

PMI’s 2021-2026 Strategy accounts for on-the-ground, country-specific circumstances and disparities that impact malaria elimination. Necessarily, PMI will tailor interventions to countries facing the highest burden of malaria infections and deaths, strengthen frontline efforts and resources, and partner with local stakeholders to lead and promote sustainable responses.  

Several urgent external threats are critical to address within a country’s broader malaria prevention and elimination efforts:  

  • Widespread disruptions caused by COVID-19, which the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates will add 100,000 to 400,000 annual malaria deaths 
  • Mosquito resistance to dominant insecticides used in preventative nets, which is already present in nearly 80 percent of monitoring sites in sub-Saharan Africa and is rapidly increasing 
  • Conflict and humanitarian crises that further endanger health workers, disrupt services, and force refugees and internally displaced persons into malaria-endemic areas    

Everyone can contribute to eliminating malaria, which is why Nothing But Nets offers opportunities for constituents to engage with representatives on the topic, learn from experts at the WHO, locals in malaria-endemic countries, and many others, and connect with fellow champions across the United States.  

To join us in helping eliminate history’s deadliest disease, text malaria to 30644. Together we will connect with Congress in support of PMI and other malaria elimination programs!

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