Statement from Jonathan Klein, CEO and Co-founder of Getty Images
and Chair of the Board of Friends of the Global Fight,
on World Malaria Day 2012
Washington, D.C., April 25, 2012 — In the past 10 years, the global community has rallied around a renewed focus on the prevention and elimination of malaria, a disease that afflicts 250 million people each year, most of them children under the age of five. However, thanks to an infusion of resources, innovation and political will, on this World Malaria Day we are able to celebrate the incredible strides made in the fight against this preventable, treatable disease. The most visible of these achievements has been the decline in malaria cases over the past decade. Advances in vaccines are also beginning to show great promise.
One of the most powerful tools in the fight against this devastating disease is the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The Global Fund is responsible for saving the lives of more than 100,000 people worldwide every month. To date, it has financed programs that have distributed 230 million insecticide-treated nets for the prevention of malaria, treated 230 million cases of malaria and provided 43 million indoor residual spraying services to guard against the mosquitoes that cause this deadly disease.
Each of these numbers is accompanied by a story. A child in Peru who once fell ill with malaria two and three times a month is now healthy and able to attend school because she sleeps under a net. A mother in Rwanda gave birth to a healthy baby, without fear of complications from malaria. A man in Ghana is healthy enough to work and provide for his family because his house has been sprayed to prevent mosquitoes. The Global Fund’s efforts have resulted in healthier families, communities and countries.
The fight against malaria has attracted a diverse group of champions, and one of the Global Fund’s greatest allies in this fight has been the U.S. government. The clear commitment on the part of the U.S. government to not only the Global Fund, but also the cause of eliminating malaria, has been vital to achieving these successes. In addition to being the leading donor to the Global Fund, the U.S. has shown its commitment to ending this disease through the creation of the President’s Malaria Initiative — as well as longstanding bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress. Americans can take pride in this leadership on behalf of so many around the world.
While we currently face a tough economy in the U.S. and around the world, we’re also primed to make some incredible strides against malaria in the coming years. With continued support from the U.S. and other donors, we can swiftly realize what once seemed impossible: the elimination of malaria.
FRIENDS OF THE GLOBAL FIGHT AGAINST AIDS, TUBERCULOSIS AND MALARIA
Friends of the Global Fight works to end the worldwide burden of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. We educate, engage and mobilize U.S. decision makers to support the Global Fund, the world’s largest public health financier. For more information about Friends of the Global Fight, visit www.TheGlobalFight.org.
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