U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative Expands to Sierra Leone
On Thursday, September 21, USAID Administrator Mark Green announced that the U.S.
President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI)—a U.S. government initiative led by USAID and
implemented together with CDC—will launch new country programs in Cameroon, Cote
d’Ivoire, Niger, and Sierra Leone, and expand its existing program in Burkina Faso. The Sierra
Leone PMI program will receive US$15 million in its first year. Administrator Green made the
announcement at a Roll Back Malaria event at the UN General Assembly in New York.
“No child should die from a disease that is both preventable and treatable,” said Ambassador
Mark Green, USAID Administrator. “The Administration and Congress believe in the
effectiveness of the PMI program. Expanding further into west and central Africa will save lives,
prevent illness and unburden health systems – allowing kids to attend school and adults to work.”
Malaria is disease caused by parasites that invade and destroy red blood cells in humans. The
parasites are transmitted to persons through the bites of infected Anopheles mosquitoes, but
highly effective tools exist to battle this scourge.
With the addition of Sierra Leone and the other four new focus countries, PMI will have
programs in 24 countries in sub-Saharan Africa where malaria remains a significant public health
problem, as well as Burma, Cambodia, and Thailand supporting regional efforts in the Greater
Mekong Region in Asia. PMI’s country expansion will benefit almost 90 million additional
people at risk of malaria in West and Central Africa, and the U.S. Government will be able to
contribute to ensuring availability of effective malaria prevention and control interventions to
approximately 332 million people at risk across the region.
Malaria is an important public health challenge that the Government of Sierra Leone, the U.S.
Government, and partners are united in fighting. Over 2 million outpatient visits are due to
malaria every year in Sierra Leone, of which about a million patients are children under five
years of age.
PMI will work together with the Government of Sierra Leone, under National Malaria Control
Program (NMCP) leadership, and in collaboration with malaria stakeholders, to scale up a
comprehensive, integrated package of life-saving interventions in communities. This includes
both prevention (insecticide treated mosquito nets and indoor residual spraying) and treatment
interventions. PMI support includes mosquito surveillance, malaria case surveillance, monitoring
and evaluation of impact, and behavior change communication activities.
Embassy of the United States of America in Freetown
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