To mark World Malaria Day, U.S. President Joseph Biden announced
that the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) will form a partnership with The Gambia as
part of the effort to eliminate malaria around the world. This announcement, which also included Burundi and Togo, will increase the number of PMI partner countries to 30, with 27 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and three in Southeast Asia.
The Gambia is one of six countries in the Africa Region that have achieved the 2020 milestones of reducing malaria cases and deaths by 40 per cent since 2015. This new partnership with PMI will support The Gambia’s effort to transition from malaria control to malaria elimination. An initial investment of $4 million is expected from PMI to kick-start the process in support of The Gambia’s National Malaria Strategy. The funds will be used to implement activities such as mosquito net distribution, insecticide application, treatment for pregnant women, and medicine distribution.
“The Government of The Gambia and its partnering organizations have significantly reduced malaria transmission. However, there is more work to be done. Malaria remains a health and financial burden for many Gambian households. By providing PMI resources, the U.S. The government aims to assist The Gambia to eliminate this debilitating and deadly disease,” said Sharon L. Cromer, U.S. Ambassador to The Gambia.
The expansion will also enable PMI to leverage existing U.S. government investments for
maximum impact, including those in the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and Malaria. Of the 247 million infections and 619,000 deaths from malaria globally in 2021, most were in Africa, and almost 80 per cent of deaths were children under five. Since 2000, PMI has helped lead global efforts that have saved 11.7 million lives and prevented more than 2 billion malaria infections.
In a statement, US President Joe Biden said: “My Administration remains committed to ending malaria so that everyone across the globe can pursue healthy and prosperous lives free of one of humanity’s oldest and most devastating diseases.”