Malaria :: Africa Malaria Day and Malaria Awareness Day

April 25, 2007, marks the seventh commemoration of Africa Malaria Day, a day chosen in 2000 by African governments to reaffirm their commitment, embodied in the Abuja Declaration, to halve the burden of malaria in Africa by 2010.

Africa Malaria Day has served to remind the global community of the enormous burden exacted by this ancient scourge on the most impoverished and vulnerable populations in the world.

This year, the United States government formally marks its solidarity with the global community by designating today ?Malaria Awareness Day.?

Despite extraordinary political, economic, social and medical advances, more than 40 percent of the world?s population lives in areas where they are at risk of contracting malaria. Each year, an estimated 300 to 500 million clinical cases of malaria occur, and the disease claims more than one million lives, predominantly children under the age of 5 years and young pregnant women. In addition to this shocking death toll and the associated social burden it imposes, malaria-associated morbidity reduces economic productivity and quality of life. It has been estimated that malaria accounts for a reduction in economic growth rates of up to 1.3 percent per year in affected countries.

Growing awareness of these appalling statistics has prompted many new initiatives to regain ground lost in the war against malaria. For example, in its most recent round of funding, 24 percent of the support provided by the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was dedicated to combating malaria. In 2005 President Bush launched the President?s Malaria Initiative (, a five-year, $1.2 billion effort to prevent malaria deaths by providing effective therapeutics to promptly treat malaria, as well as bednets and indoor residual spraying to prevent malaria. At the White House Summit on Malaria in December 2006 (, the President launched the Malaria Communities Program and expanded the Volunteers for Prosperity program for malaria. NIAID applauds these efforts to bring treatment and control strategies to malaria-endemic areas to reduce the burden of disease.

The theme of this year?s Africa Malaria Day is ?Leadership and Partnership for Results.? While much of the focus of the day will be on control strategies and program implementation, NIAID proudly recognizes the efforts of many research scientists and public health officials who are providing the evidence to identify and validate new interventions against malaria. Malaria has proven to be a resilient foe, and the unflagging efforts, insights and drive of these valiant men and women are still much needed today. As the lead federal agency for malaria research and development, NIAID remains firm in its commitment to develop effective new tools of treatment and prevention and to strengthen partnerships with groups who share such interests. To this end, NIAID recently announced a new initiative on NIAID Partnerships with Public-Private Partnerships designed to strengthen the pipeline for novel products and interventions against malaria and other neglected tropical diseases.

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