WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement recognizing World Malaria Day on April 25, 2016:
“Despite being treatable and preventable, malaria continues to be a leading cause of death and disease in dozens of countries around the world. In 2015 alone, there were more than 214 million reported cases of malaria resulting in an estimated 438,000 deaths. Of these 438,000 deaths, 90 percent were in sub-Saharan Africa and 78 percent were children under five. One thing is clear: malaria continues to kill far too many people in far too many countries.
“But thanks to the efforts of the United States and the global community, there is some good news, too. Through the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), our investments in the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and other international and national malaria control efforts, we have made extraordinary progress over the last 15 years. Between 2000 and 2015, for example, the number of malaria cases fell by 37 percent and the malaria mortality rate declined by 60 percent globally and 66 percent in sub-Saharan Africa. This means that our investments have averted 6.2 million deaths and resulted in 1.2 billion fewer infections.
“While these achievements are to be celebrated, we cannot rest on our laurels now. If we are to sustain these gains in the years to come, reach the targets outlined in the 2015-2020 PMI Strategy, and ultimately eradicate malaria, we must continue to make strong investments in treatment, prevention, and control of malaria.
“On this World Malaria Day, I hope the world will join me in celebrating the progress we have made while also reaffirming our commitment to eradicating malaria once and for all.”