Report says thousands of lives have been saved by malaria countermeasures

The U.S. Agency for International Development reported in its annual survey that thousands of lives have been saved from malaria thanks to the recent increased efforts of U.S. and international health agencies.

According to USAID’s calculations, 150,000 fewer deaths from malaria occurred in 2010 than in 2005, reports. As a result, an estimated 485 children are saved each day in Africa, a continent that experiences a very high rate of malaria cases.

A significant portion of the success is being credited to the President’s Malaria Initiative that was launched by the United States in 2006. The five year, $1.2 billion initiative focuses on 15 African nations where the disease is especially rampant, with a goal of reducing malaria-related deaths by 50 percent.

To combat the disease, the PMI boosts resources devoted to prevention of the disease as well as provides better training to more healthcare workers and easier access to anti-malarial medications, according to

As a result of the PMI’s efforts, more than 27 million people were protected by in-home insecticide spraying in 2010, and more than 30 million insecticide-treated bed nets have been distributed.

The initiative, under the watch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and USAID, works in conjunction with the Global Fund, the World Bank Booster Program for Malaria Control and other multilateral organizations, nongovernmental organizations and foundations.

Almost 250 million people worldwide were infected with malaria in 2008, and one million died as a result, according to the World Health Organization.

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