World Malaria Day commemorated on April 29

Members of the malaria community were joined by Congressional champions in commemorating World Malaria Day on Tuesday at a reception hosted by Malaria No More and other members of the Malaria Roundtable.

Held in the Veteran's Affairs Committee room of the Cannon House Office Building, the event highlighted key partnerships in the fight against malaria, including the United States government, endemic countries, the scientific community, faith-based organizations and the private and nonprofit sectors.

Co-Chairs of the Congressional Caucuses Sen. Christopher Coons (D-Del.), Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.) were in attendance at the event and made remarks recognizing the contributions of the U.S. government to the global effort to defeat malaria, while Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) added his support to the event as a House Caucus co-chair.

Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) was recognized by several speakers for his long-term support.

USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah, the event's keynote speaker, discussed how the President's Malaria Initiative's (PMI) successful efforts to reduce malaria deaths can provide a model for the U.S.'s approach to other global health and development issues.

"Perhaps the most impressive statistic we've seen is a reduction in all-cause childhood mortality in every single PMI country," Shah said. "I find this astounding. It means that-through one intervention-we are generating a cascade of public health benefits. But the real story here is about more than the results we've seen-it's about the focused, results-oriented approach that got us here. Today, we have adopted these principles across our work-bringing a new model of development to child survival."

An estimated 3.3 million lives have been saved globally from malaria following an expanded global effort to combat the disease, and a 54 percent decrease has been recorded in the rate of child malaria deaths since 2000 in Africa, where 90 percent of malaria deaths occur.