For Immediate Release

Office of Press Relations

Statement by Administrator Samantha Power

Last summer, for the first time in two decades, health officials detected the local transmission of malaria in the United States. By October, ten cases had been reported across Florida, Texas, Maryland, and Arkansas.

The presence of malaria in the United States is not unusual; every year, there are roughly 2,000 cases brought in by individuals traveling from abroad. But this was the first time in two decades that malaria had been locally transmitted – meaning that mosquitoes inside the United States, in U.S. parks and offices and homes, were shown to be capable of transmitting a disease that kills hundreds of thousands of people globally every year. It was a stark reminder that even in countries where malaria is not on the minds of most people, it can make a resurgence – with implications for the health of communities around the world.

The world has made incredible progress in preventing and treating malaria over the last two decades, with deaths from malaria dropping by nearly 37 percent in 2019 when compared to 2000. But the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic overwhelmed hospitals and health systems and interrupted patients’ abilities to seek treatment. Global malaria deaths have largely plateaued since the height of the pandemic, with just over 600,000 lives lost in 2022. With nearly 250 million cases worldwide, and secondary impacts on poverty and economic growth, much more remains to be done.

That’s why I am pleased that USAID continues to lead the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), implemented in partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. PMI has invested approximately $10 billion since 2006 to provide communities around the world with crucial prevention measures, such as mosquito nets, while also expanding access to malaria tests and medicines and strengthening the care provided by hospitals, clinics, and community health workers.

Today, as resistance to malaria treatments is on the rise and changing weather patterns and climate shocks create conditions where mosquitoes thrive, USAID, through PMI, is adapting its approach in response. We are helping countries conduct surveillance to see where drug resistance is emerging, and we are supporting the development and delivery of alternative drugs. We are helping partner countries use climate data to predict malaria outbreaks so communities can prepare. And we are honored to have funded critical research that led to the world’s first malaria vaccines, approved for use in the last two years. This year, we estimate that children across at least 20 countries in Africa will be able to get their malaria shots – which could help save tens of thousands of lives every year.

In PMI’s 18th Annual Report to Congress, released today, the Initiative highlights how its work with partners since 2006 has cut death rates from malaria almost in half across its partner countries, representing millions of lives saved. USAID will continue to work to extend this progress even further – in collaboration with partners across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors – to move us closer to a world free from this devastating disease.

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