WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement recognizing World Malaria Day on April 25, 2015. He is a cosponsor of a Senate Resolution on World Malaria Day with Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) that underscores the importance of reducing malaria prevalence and deaths to improve overall child and maternal health, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
“In 2015, no child should die of preventable diseases. Sadly, malaria still claims the lives of too many people, of all ages, across the world. Globally, 3.3 billion people are at risk of contracting malaria. In 2013, an estimated 453,000 children died of malaria before reaching their fifth birthday and 437,000 of those deaths occurred in Africa.
“With U.S. leadership and international coordination, we can make malaria deaths a thing of the past. The malaria-related Millennium Development Goal has been met and we have halted and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria. Funding for malaria prevention and treatment is still well below where it needs to be to meet global eradication targets. Foreign aid is less than one percent of our federal budget, yet it makes a huge impact across the world. In a time of austere budgets, we need to find new and creative ways to leverage every lifesaving cent out of every dollar the United States commits to fighting malaria.
“From the highly technical work being done at the National Institutes of Health through the NAID Malaria Research Program to grassroots efforts to provide mosquito nets to children, we are making progress but cannot be satisfied. On this World Malaria Day, I offer my sincere thanks to the men and women of all nationalities who commit themselves to ending the suffering caused by the disease. Their efforts are often thankless and go unnoticed. Today, I hope the world will join me in celebrating the progress they have helped make and reaffirming our commitment to eradicating malaria once and for all.”