RELEASE:

Wicker, Coons Highlight World Malaria Day

Senators Introduce Bipartisan Measure to Support Global Fight Against Deadly Disease

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Chris Coons, D-Del., have introduced a resolution commemorating World Malaria Day, which was observed on April 25. Wicker and Coons are co-chairs of the Senate Malaria and Neglected Tropical Disease Caucus. The measure recognizes the significance of reducing malaria prevalence and deaths in an effort to improve overall child and maternal health across the globe, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.

“I am pleased to support America’s continued leadership in the global fight against malaria,” Wicker said. “Prevention and control programs under the President’s Malaria Initiative, reinforced with groundbreaking research by the U.S. Army, have had a tremendous impact on fighting this preventable disease for the 3.2 billion people who are at risk of contracting it.”

“Malaria is a preventable, treatable illness, yet it is still a leading cause of death in many developing countries around the world,” said Senator Coons. “Malaria is a health, humanitarian, security, and economic challenge that requires us all to work together to solve. I’m proud to join Senator Wicker and a bipartisan group of colleagues in introducing a resolution affirming our commitment to ending preventable deaths from malaria once and for all.”

Malaria, a parasitic blood-borne disease spread by mosquitoes, is most prevalent in the developing world, with 90 percent of deaths occurring in Africa. Children under the age of five account for an estimated 70 percent of malaria-related deaths each year. In 2015, transmission of malaria occurred in 95 countries and territories. The President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) – started by President George W. Bush in 2005 – has helped reduce malaria deaths by 35 percent since its inception by partnering with local governments, the private sector, and faith communities and organizations.

In addition to Senators Wicker and Coons, cosponsors of the resolution include: Sens. John Boozman, R-Ark., Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Thad Cochran, R-Miss., Richard Durbin D-Ill., Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

4/26/16