For Immediate Release
SEATTLE, WA. – Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), issued the following statement on behalf of the United States at the Bill and Melinda Gates Malaria Forum.
“At USAID, we welcome the initial news of the Phase 3 efficacy trial published today confirming the RTS,S malaria vaccine is safe and effective. The vaccine, as a new addition to our present package malaria control interventions, could result in further major reductions in severe malaria cases and deaths. RTS,S as a first generation vaccine is an important first step in collaborative efforts to develop the next generation of even more effective vaccines.
An effective vaccine is a critical component of an integrated approach to malaria control, and USAID remains committed to supporting their development.
Over the past five years, global action to combat malaria has saved an estimated 1.1 million lives in sub-Saharan Africa. African countries are now poised to achieve the first great humanitarian victory of the 21st century—near zero child deaths from malaria. To do so we will need the collaboration of all stakeholders at all levels.
The United States is committed to supporting historic gains against child mortality. This catalytic effort will build on the success and platforms of the Presidents Malaria Initiative, PEPFAR, and the Global Health Initiative, saving lives of mothers and children from a preventable and curable disease that once ravaged our own nation and creating an important legacy for this Administration. These efforts will also create a generation of healthy children who have the opportunity now to benefit from education, lead productive lives, and contribute to their countries’ development.
At a technical level, the United States will work through PMI and the Global Health Initiative to accelerate ending malaria as a major public health problem across sub-Saharan Africa by intensifying current control efforts and extending the reach of malaria interventions to under-served populations in the most highly affected countries.
This work includes scaling up existing efforts and accelerating the delivery of critical, cost-effective health services by integrating and expanding facility and community-based health care service delivery. We can save millions of lives by supporting community case management and scaling up approaches for the diagnosis and treatment of malaria, pneumonia, diarrhea and malnutrition, including community-based distribution of Vitamin A and deworming tablets.
The United States Government is totally committed to the fight against malaria and will continue to work with partners to achieve the goal of removing malaria as a public health burden.
Last updated: May 21, 2012