RELEASE:

Wicker, Coons Introduce Resolution Supporting World Malaria Day

Bipartisan Measure Recognizes Importance of Fighting Widespread Epidemic

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Chris Coons, D-Del., have introduced a resolution commemorating World Malaria Day, which will be observed on April 25. Both senators, Wicker and Coons, chair the Senate Malaria and Neglected Tropical Disease Caucus. The resolution recognizes the importance of reducing malaria prevalence and deaths to improve overall child and maternal health, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.

“It is critical that we continue to support malaria programs,” Wicker said. “Even though the disease is preventable and treatable, malaria remains a threat for nearly half of the world’s population and a national security interest for the United States. Although we have conquered this deadly disease in America, it is in our best interest to assist less-developed countries in their fight against malaria.”

“As we approach World Malaria Day, we are reminded of the incredible successes we’ve had in recent years, but we’re also reminded of how much work still lies ahead,” said Coons. “Last year alone, we saw nearly 200 million cases of malaria around the world that led to more than 580,000 deaths. Most of those deaths were children under five years old, and 90 percent of them struck in Africa. These are sobering statistics, but we know that this terrible disease is both preventable and treatable. That’s why we have to continue investing in our fight against malaria at the federal level and in cooperation with our incredible partners. Together, we can rid the world of this disease.”

In 2014, transmission of malaria occurred in 97 countries. Children under the age of five account for an estimated 78 percent of malaria-related deaths each year. 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.

Other cosponsors include: Sens. John Boozman, R-Ark., Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Ben Cardin D-Md., Thad Cochran, R-Miss., Richard Durbin D-Ill., Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., Mark Kirk, R-Ill., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

4/24/15