The U.S Government says World Malaria Day is observed each year by the global community to call attention to the disease, as well as to mobilize action to combat it.
The U.S Embassy release issued in Monrovia said on this occasion, the President’s Malaria Initiative or PMI, led by the U.S. Agency for International Development or USAID and implemented together with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC, releases its ninth annual report which describes the role and contributions of the U.S. Government in the effort to reduce the burden of malaria in Liberia, and other focus countries in Africa, and to monitor anti-malarial drug resistance and decrease malaria transmission in the Greater Mekong Subregion.
According to the release, the PMI works with Liberia’ snational malaria program, targeting pregnant women and children under five – the two most vulnerable groups from malaria – and focusing on rural areas where the greatest burden of the disease tends to fall on families with lower incomes and limited access to health care, noting that to date, 17 of the 19 PMI focus countries have seen reductions in childhood mortality rates, ranging from 18 percent (in both Liberia and Nigeria) to 55 percent (in both Senegal and Zambia). These data, according to the embassy release, contribute to the growing evidence that malaria prevention and treatment are playing a major role in these decreases in under-five mortality.
The release quoted the U.S Government as saying in Liberia, child survival is improving and all-cause mortality rates among children under the age of five have declined from 114 per 1,000 to 94 per 1,000 over the period 2009-2013. According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) 2014 World Malaria Report, the estimated malaria mortality rate in children under five decreased by 58 percent in the Africa region between 2000 and 2013, while the scale-up of malaria control interventions over the same period resulted in an estimated 4.3 million fewer malaria deaths. These gains were attributed primarily to increased use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets, accurate diagnostic tests, and effective drug therapies.