On May 17, the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations held a hearing, “The U.S. Contribution to the Fight Against Malaria.” During the hearing, Chair Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Ranking Member Karen Bass (D-CA) heard testimony regarding U.S. efforts to eradicate malaria through the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (Global Fund) and the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI).
Rear Admiral Tim Ziemer, coordinator, U.S. Global Malaria, PMI, noted, “Investments in malaria prevention and control are making a significant impact on the lives of millions of children, pregnant women, and families in Africa. It is a tremendous success story, yet it is still incomplete.” Citing the history of PMI, Rear Admiral Ziemer said, “President Bush created the President’s Malaria Initiative, and committed $1.2 billion for malaria control…Its goals were ambitious: cutting in half the death toll of a disease that ravaged Africans, hitting children and pregnant women the hardest…In the last seven years, substantial reductions in mortality among children under five have been recorded together with improvements in coverage with malaria interventions. Of the 12 PMI focus countries (Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia), where baseline and follow up health surveys with data on childhood mortality have been conducted, all-cause mortality rates among children under five have dropped by 16 percent (in Malawi) to 50 percent (in Rwanda). Although multiple factors may be influencing the decline in under-five mortality rates, strong and growing evidence suggests that malaria prevention and treatment are playing a major role in these unprecedented reductions in mortality.”
The following witnesses also testified: