During a high-level side event at the United Nations General Assembly meeting last week, in one of his first engagements as USAID Administrator, Ambassador Mark Green announced the expansion of the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), which is the U.S. government’s leading effort to combat the global scourge of malaria.
Thanks to additional funding provided by Congress in the Fiscal Year 2017 budget, PMI will now be able to implement programs in four new countries in West Africa, including Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Niger, and Sierra Leone, as well as expand the current program in Burkina Faso.
Launching these country programs will provide a boost to malaria control and elimination efforts across the continent, reaching an additional 90 million people and bringing PMI’s reach in West Africa to nearly 332 million. An expansion of this scale will also strengthen country health systems, bring access to populations often left behind in 24 countries, and accelerate the end of this disease for good.
Ambassador Green’s announcement comes just days after President Trump’s first address to the UN General Assembly, during which he praised PMI as instrumental to effective U.S. led-humanitarian assistance.
These statements of U.S. support are an encouraging sign in the fight against malaria; however, considerable work remains to ensure that programs such as PMI, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and UN agencies have the resources they need to continue combatting this disease in the future.
Since its creation under the George W. Bush Administration in 2005, PMI has become an exemplar of global health and development programs that not only surpass intended goals but have far reaching impacts beyond their original design.
More than 480 million people have benefited from PMI programs through long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets, access to health care professionals, life-saving treatments, or indoor residual spraying. But the life-changing impacts don’t stop there.
Earlier this year, Harvard University and the University of North Carolina published a study illustrating the positive impacts of PMI country programs, not only in fighting malaria but also in improving the quality of life in communities within target countries. The study demonstrates that in PMI target countries, overall child mortality rates were lower than countries without the program.
You can help us to ensure this progress continues in 2018 and beyond. Please take action online today to make sure your members of Congress understand the importance of U.S. leadership to save lives and defeat malaria. Raise your voice today!