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Press Release

For Immediate Release
November 9, 2005
Contact: CDC Media Relations
Phone: (404) 639-3286
 

First HHS Funds Awarded in Support of President’s Initiative to Prevent and Reduce Deaths in Africa

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded $750,000 to four projects in support of the President’s Malaria Initiative to prevent and reduce malaria deaths in targeted African countries. The funding, which is being provided a little more than three months after President George W. Bush launched the new initiative, will support malaria prevention efforts in Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea and Uganda.

"Tragically, malaria is the leading killer of children in sub-Saharan Africa, but efforts by the United States, in concert with existing programs in the African nations and recent efforts by private organizations, can make a difference," said CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding. "The President's goal of cutting in half the death rate from malaria in targeted African countries shows the U.S. commitment to defeating this highly treatable and preventable disease that threatens the health and economy of Africa."

Although malaria is preventable and treatable if caught early, it remains one of the world’s greatest threats to human health and economic welfare. Each year, malaria kills more than 1.2 million people—the majority young children in Africa. The estimated yearly economic loss from malaria is about $12 billion, which accounts for a crippling 1.3 percent annual loss in gross domestic product in countries where malaria is endemic.

The following organizations will use the HHS/CDC funds in the following ways to support the President’s Malaria Initiative:

JHPIEGO, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University, will expand malaria prevention among at-risk pregnant women and children younger than five years in Tanzania. The program will increase the use of long-lasting, insecticide-treated nets and intermittent preventive treatment (IPT). IPT is the practice of providing pregnant women in malaria-endemic areas with a single dose of malaria preventive medication at least twice during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy to reduce illness in the mother and protect the fetus. The program will also work to increase community awareness of comprehensive maternal and newborn health care, with a focus on malaria in pregnancy. Key local partners include the Tanzanian Ministry of Health, Caritas Tanzania and the White Ribbon Alliance.

Medical Care Development International (MCDI) will expand its current work in Equatorial Guinea with the Ministry of Health and through the Bioko Island Malaria Control Project (BIMCP) to strengthen the capacity of the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) to develop and manage the implementation of malaria control initiatives. MCDI will work with the NMCP to integrate the successful BIMCP programs into the NMCP as a principal strategy for ensuring sustainability of malaria control programs. The BIMCP, funded by Marathon Oil, has had a substantial impact on reducing malaria transmission through a combination of prevention, treatment, and education activities and works closely with the Equatorial Guinea Ministry of Health.

Research Triangle Institute will develop strategies that increase the use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets in Uganda, focused on residents of two camps for internally displaced persons in Lira District. Key activities include identifying barriers to use of nets, increasing community awareness and use of nets and distributing them among the target population. Two key partners are the Ugandan Ministry of Health and the Christian Children’s Fund.

The University of California-San Francisco will monitor the use of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) to treat malaria. An ACT is a combination drug treatment of two or more drugs given at the same time, one of which is artemisinin, to cure malaria. ACTs are the current recommended treatment in countries where malaria parasites are resistant to previously used drugs. UCSF will work with the National Malaria Control Program to track the effectiveness and safety of ACTs. This information will help assess whether changes in treatment are necessary because of high levels of drug resistance. Key partners in Uganda include the Ugandan Ministry of Health, the Ugandan Malaria Surveillance Program and Makerere University in Kampala.

The President’s Malaria Initiative, which was launched June 30, 2005, is a coordinated interagency partnership that includes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and other agencies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the U.S. Departments of State and Defense. Working with the African countries, the Initiative supports national programs and strategies for malaria prevention and control in the targeted African countries in collaboration with global partners such as the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria; the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Marathon Oil; Exxon-Mobil; the World Health Organization; and other partners. Its goal is to combine proven and effective prevention with treatment interventions to accomplish the following:

  • Expand access to long-lasting, insecticide-treated mosquito nets and indoor residual spraying with approved insecticides;
  • Treat malaria through prompt use of new artemisinin-based combination therapies or other internationally accepted, effective therapies; and
  • Address malaria during pregnancy to prevent or reduce maternal infections that contribute to low birth weight and deaths among millions of African infants.

For more information about the President’s Malaria Initiative, visit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/
For more information about HHS/CDC and NIH malaria prevention, treatment and research efforts, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/malaria and http://www.niaid.nih.gov/dmid/malaria.


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This page last updated November 9, 2005
URL: http://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/r051109a.htm

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