Dr. Boozman's Check-up

World Malaria Day

Apr 25 2014

The world recognizes April 25th of each year as World Malaria Day. As a member of the

Senate Caucus on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases and founder and former co-chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases, I support providing the tools and resources necessary to people around the globe in order to combat this infectious disease. 

Despite its eradication in the U.S. more than 50 years ago, malaria remains a leading cause of death worldwide. We’ve seen great progress in the effort to eliminate the disease across the globe thanks to the efforts of public and private organizations. World Health Organization (WHO) data shows mortality rates have fallen by 42 percent globally since 2000 and by 49 percent in the WHO African Region. 

WHO estimates that in 2012, malaria resulted in 627,000 deaths, mostly among African children. Having had the opportunity to travel to Africa, I have seen firsthand the devastation malaria causes the young and the poor. The good news is that this disease is preventable, treatable and curable, but it will take the combined efforts of the U.S., the international community, NGO’s, and the private sector to put an end to this tragedy, and I’m committed to continuing to work to make that happen. 

We need to sustain the successful efforts that are helping save lives. Spraying homes with insecticides in targeted areas and providing families insecticide-treated bed nets to sleep under are methods to prevent the spread of malaria. There are also medicines that treat malaria and work continues on a malaria vaccine.  

The President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) is actively working to rid the world of malaria. The group released its Eighth Annual Report to Congress and it shows significant progress has been made thanks to the investments made by our country. The U.S. can and should be very proud of our efforts to end malaria deaths.