Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

PMI Is a Vital Partner to End Malaria

July 13, 2015

Ten years ago, President George W. Bush launched the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) to help combat the disease in 15 high-burden African countries. Since then, PMI has expanded exponentially in scope and impact, reaching hundreds of millions with long-lasting insecticide treated nets, antimalarial treatments, rapid diagnostic tests, indoor residual spraying, and preventive treatments for pregnant women.

PMI excels at delivering our best tools quickly and efficiently to the people at greatest risk. What’s more, the initiative delivers these lifesaving interventions at an unprecedented scale. It has become a major force behind global efforts that have reduced malaria mortality rates by half since 2000. More than six million people, mostly children, are alive today as a result of this global collaboration. 

The incredible progress of the past 15 years has changed the way we think about malaria. By dramatically reducing the burden of malaria. it has allowed us to set our sights on achieving a malaria-free world- a goal that will save millions more lives and unlock staggering economic benefits.

However, we will never succeed by focusing solely on what works right now. Malaria is clever, resilient and capable of evading our most dependable interventions. If we aim for a malaria-free world, the global response must constantly evolve and adapt to challenges that don’t even exist yet.  

That’s why PMI will be so integral to success. We need to account for the unforeseen and stay nimble despite emerging threats like drug and insecticide resistance, as PMI has done through targeted country strategies in the Greater Mekong Subregion. We need to expand access to prevention, diagnosis and treatment, which PMI has proven capable of doing on a massive scale. We also need to build stronger health systems and introduce new tools and strategies, an increasingly important part of PMI’s work in recent years.

At the Gates Foundation, we are committed to working with others to achieve a malaria-free world. It won’t be easy or without unexpected challenges, and it will take perseverance, coordination and innovative technical solutions. But great partners like PMI will help get us there.

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