Friday, April 8, 2022

This past year was one of the most challenging in our recent history as the global community continued to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 greatly impacted malaria control efforts by disrupting supply chains for antimalarial medicines, overburdening and infecting health workers, and making communities unable or fearful of seeking needed testing and treatment. In 2020, there were an estimated 14 million more malaria cases and 69,000 more deaths than in 2019.

Two-thirds of the additional deaths (47,000 people) were due to COVID-19 disruptions.

At the same time, countries with strong malaria programs fared well even under the toughest circumstances of the pandemic and in some cases during conflict, war, and displacement. This past year showed that malaria activities helped strengthen public health capacity, including lab capacity, supply chains, distribution systems, and disease surveillance systems.

We can take two key lessons from these recent experiences. Malaria, one of the world’s first pandemics, will resurge—and quickly—if we do not keep up our efforts. Second, and more importantly, our approaches work, even when facing immense challenges, and we can do more and come back even stronger.

Thanks to the generosity of the American people and Congress, the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) adapted and persevered through the pandemic to provide 231,420 trainings to healthcare workers and protect more than 700 million people with lifesaving malaria resources.

So we remain hopeful. We also have an updated plan to support this hope. In September 2021, PMI submitted to Congress our new strategy for 2021–2026, titled “End Malaria Faster.” We have the bold vision to end malaria within our generation. And the billion-dollar-a-year strategy will accelerate our vision by helping the world save more than four million lives and prevent over one billion cases over the next five years.

Together we can get back on track and end this disease in our lifetime. The fight against one of our oldest pandemics is winnable.

The President's Malaria Initiative Annual Report

PMI is a multiagency initiative, led by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and co-implemented with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). PMI has strong support from and collaborates closely with the White House and National Security Council, Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health, Peace Corps, and other U.S. government entities. PMI works hand in hand with national malaria programs and supports partner governments’ national malaria strategies. PMI also engages with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (Global Fund); local research institutions and universities; nongovernmental organizations; faith and community groups; and the private sector to strengthen local leadership and wideranging investment in fighting malaria.

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