December 13, 2013
Halfway to victory over malaria (Martin Edlund, December 11, 2013, CNN)
Posted by Orrin Judd at December 13, 2013 3:18 PMProgress against global diseases is typically slow, incremental and hard-won. But there are moments -- such as Wednesday's release of the World Health Organization's World Malaria Report -- when the cumulative effort of dozens of nations, millions of people and billions of dollars adds up to a true breakthrough.With the new report, we have turned a corner in the malaria fight. We have reduced the rate of deaths from malaria among children under 5 by 51% from 2000 to 2012 -- halfway to our goal of ending death by mosquito bite. For the first time, the number of children dying from this preventable and treatable disease fell below half a million.Progress against malaria is responsible for fully 20% of the reduction in child mortality since 2000. Malaria control has saved 3.3 million lives since 2000 -- 3 million of them children under 5.I often compare the malaria fight to the moonshot. Both are human milestones, measures of our progress as a species and a society. And both were made possible by U.S. vision and leadership. The seeds of today's progress were sown under President George W. Bush with the launch of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in 2002 and the U.S. President's Malaria Initiative in 2005.