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 Home > News & Policies > April 2008

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 25, 2008

Fact Sheet: 2008 Malaria Awareness Day
President's Malaria Initiative Is Spreading Hope And Saving Lives Across Africa

Today, President and Mrs. Bush commemorated the second annual Malaria Awareness Day and renewed America's commitment to lead the world in turning the tide against malaria in Africa and around the world. Yesterday, Mrs. Bush joined Members of Congress to announce the formation of the Congressional Malaria Caucus to combat this preventable disease. Today, President Bush signed a Presidential Proclamation in honor of Malaria Awareness Day. He then traveled to Hartford, Connecticut to visit the Northwest Boys & Girls Club and present the Dragonfly Awards. First presented by Mrs. Bush during the 2006 White House Summit on Malaria, the Dragonfly Awards promote awareness of malaria by recognizing the efforts of young people who have completed substantial projects focused on the prevention or treatment of malaria. President Bush presented this award to three leaders in the fight against malaria:

  • The Boys & Girls Clubs of America has raised approximately $25,000 to buy more than 2,500 bed nets for families in Africa. More than 150 of these clubs have joined the campaign to raise funds and spread awareness through events such as car washes, bake sales, and walk-a-thons.
  • Zachary Ellenthal set up his own webpage and wrote a letter with facts about malaria in sub-Saharan Africa to encourage guests to his Bar Mitzvah to donate to Malaria No More in place of gifts. Through his efforts, Zach was able to raise more than $11,000 to purchase bed nets.
  • Allyson Brown organized a school fundraising dance with the theme "Stayin' Alive," to fight malaria in Africa and raised more than $1,600 in donations. She has since built on this success by working with Malaria No More to start a nationwide "Stayin' Alive" campaign. So far, more than 100 schools in 30 States have joined, and they have raised more than $30,000 to purchase bed nets.

The United States Is Fully Committed To Fighting This Preventable Disease

In 2005, President Bush launched the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI) to combat malaria in the hardest-hit nations on the continent of Africa. At least one million infants and children under age five in Sub-Saharan Africa die each year from malaria – one approximately every 30 seconds. This February, President and Mrs. Bush traveled to Africa to see firsthand the incredible progress against malaria as a result of PMI.

  • The President's Malaria Initiative has already reached an estimated 25 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The President's Malaria Initiative is spending $1.2 billion over five years to reduce malaria deaths by 50 percent in 15 target African countries.
  • The United States leads the world in its support of the Global Fund (GF) to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. The U.S. made the Fund's founding contribution and has pledged over $3.5 billion and contributed approximately $2.5 billion to date – far more than any other nation.

The Administration And Its Partners Are Working Together To Save Lives Across The Continent

In 2006, Mrs. Bush announced the launch of the Malaria Communities Program to support small non-governmental and faith-based organizations that are partnering with the U.S. Government in their efforts to combat malaria in Africa. In October 2007, the first round of grants was awarded to help support locally sustainable malaria control work.

  • America's charitable organizations serve on the front lines with African faith-based and community groups to advance health, education, and development goals. The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), PMI, and other U.S.-funded efforts represent massive-scale implementation of the President's vision for his Faith-Based and Community Initiative by empowering these organizations in their determined attack on need. These efforts are also supported by tens of thousands of American professionals – doctors, nurses, teachers, engineers, businesspeople and others – serving as volunteers for weeks, months, or longer, and committed to helping those less fortunate around the world through the President's Volunteers for Prosperity initiative.

The President's Malaria Initiative continues to leverage private sector support, and more than six million long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets are being distributed through PMI public-private partnerships. For example, in partnership with Malaria No More and others, PMI was able to distribute 590,000 nets in Uganda.

  • In Zanzibar, following the distribution of long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITN) and indoor residual spraying, the percentage of infants infected with malaria has dropped from about 20 percent to less than one percent.
  • In Zambia, PMI joined with PEPFAR and the Global Business Coalition to distribute 500,000 nets through home-based care programs serving people affected by HIV/AIDS.

The United States is leading the way in the efforts against malaria and urges other nations to join. Last summer, nations of the G-8 matched the United States' commitment by pledging to cut malaria deaths by half in an additional 15 countries – G-8 nations should take action on these promises.

In 2006, President and Mrs. Bush hosted a White House Summit on Malaria to discuss and highlight measures for combating this preventable disease. This summit brought together international experts, multilateral institutions, corporations and foundations, African civic leaders, NGOs, and faith-based and service organizations to discuss and highlight measures for controlling malaria.

The President Is Also Turning The Tide Against Global HIV/AIDS

In 2003, President Bush launched PEPFAR, committing $15 billion over five years to combat global HIV/AIDS – the largest international health initiative in history to fight a single disease. In 2007, the President requested that Congress double our original funding commitment for this successful program to $30 billion over five years.

  • The House passed bipartisan legislation to reauthorize this life-saving program, and now the Senate should act as well.

PEPFAR has already helped bring life-saving treatments to more than 1.4 million people around the world.

  • As of the end of Fiscal Year 2007, PEPFAR was supporting life-saving antiretroviral treatment for approximately 1.36 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the 15 focus countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. When the President announced PEPFAR in 2003, only 50,000 people in all of sub-Saharan Africa were receiving treatment.

As a result of President and Mrs. Bush's leadership, in June 2007 the United States and other G-8 nations demonstrated their commitment to work with Africa and set a goal of supporting treatment for five million HIV/AIDS-infected individuals, preventing 24 million new infections, and caring for 24 million people, including 10 million orphans and vulnerable children.

PEPFAR is partnering with local communities and indigenous organizations, including faith-based and community organizations, to support treatment, care, and prevention activities. PEPFAR has also:

  • Supported more than 33 million counseling and testing sessions for men, women, and children.
  • Supported care for nearly 6.6 million individuals, including care for more than 2.7 million orphans and vulnerable children.
  • Supported prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission services for women during more than 10 million pregnancies from Fiscal Year 2004 to Fiscal Year 2007.
  • Supported prevention of an estimated 157,000 infant infections.


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