Fighting Malaria

The President's Malaria Initiative 13th Annual Report to Congress. May 2019.

Since 2000, a concerted global effort has helped prevent more than 1 billion malaria cases and save 7 million lives. Nonetheless, malaria remains a leading cause of sickness and death across much of sub-Saharan Africa. In Asia and the Americas, malaria causes fewer severe illnesses and deaths, but antimalarial drug resistance is a serious and growing problem.

USAID has been committed to fighting malaria since the 1950s. Malaria prevention and control remains an important U.S. foreign assistance priority. Effective foreign assistance, including malaria control, is a critical component of the U.S. Government's national security strategy with investments in global health and malaria contributing to economic and political stability.

The Agency works closely with the governments of malaria endemic countries to strengthen their capacity to prevent and treat the disease. USAID engages with global partners through the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, through technical collaboration with the World Health Organization Global Malaria Programme, and through other bilateral and multi-donor or stakeholder forums. The U.S. Government invested $1.35 billion in the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in FY 2018, with approximately one-third of all Global Fund country grants financing malaria control and elimination programs. USAID also invests in research and development of malaria vaccines and new antimalarial drugs and insecticide-based vector control tools.

USAID's leadership and investments in malaria control efforts do more than save lives and protect the people most vulnerable to disease. Our efforts promote the economic growth and stability of communities and nations, while advancing American prosperity and security.

The key interventions funded by USAID include:

  • Indoor residual spraying (IRS): IRS is the organized, timely spraying of an insecticide on the inside walls of houses or dwellings. It kills adult mosquitoes before they can transmit malaria parasites to another person.
  • Insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs): Sleeping under an ITN protects people from malaria in two ways: physically blocking mosquitoes at night (when they are most likely to bite) and killing mosquitoes that land on them.
  • Intermittent preventive treatment for pregnant women (IPTp): Malaria in pregnancy is dangerous for mothers and their babies. IPTp provides an antimalarial drug to pregnant women at each prenatal visit to help protect them from malaria.
  • Diagnosis and treatment: Effective case management tests people with suspected cases of malaria and ensures that all patients with malaria receive quality-assured treatment.
  • Seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC): SMC is a recommended approach to prevent malaria among young children in areas with highly seasonal malaria transmission. It provides antimalarial drugs at monthly intervals to children during peak transmission season.

The U.S. President's Malaria Initiative (PMI) supports 24 focus countries in sub-Saharan Africa and 3 programs in the Greater Mekong Subregion in Southeast Asia. PMI is an interagency initiative led by USAID and implemented together with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2015, PMI launched its 6-year strategy for 2015–2020, which takes into account the progress over the past decade and the new challenges that have arisen. It is also in line with the goals articulated in the RBM Partnership's global malaria action plan, Action and Investment to Defeat Malaria (AIM) 2016–2030: for a Malaria-Free World [PDF, 18.6MB] and the World Health Organization's updated Global Technical Strategy: 2016–2030 [PDF, 1.0MB]. The U.S. Government's goal under the PMI Strategy 2015–2020 [PDF, 8.9MB] is to work with PMI-supported countries and partners to further reduce malaria deaths and substantially decrease malaria morbidity, toward the long-term goal of elimination.

USAID also provides support to malaria control efforts to Burundi in Africa and supports malaria control and elimination in Latin America and the Caribbean region.

Last updated: May 22, 2019

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