Statement from former President Bill Clinton on World Malaria Day (April 25)
April 24, 2009
New York, NY
Malaria was eliminated in the United States over a half a century ago, yet more than 1 million people around the world still die from the disease each year, making it one of the most pressing health challenges the world faces today. More must be done to permanently lift the burden of this terrible disease from communities and entire countries.
My Foundation is contributing to these efforts by negotiating lower prices for the most effective medicines - ACTs - and supporting countries to implement a new subsidy approach that will dramatically increase the number of patients who have access to these essential drugs.
But we can and must go beyond this, helping countries to go the last mile and eliminate malaria entirely. Already, more than 30 countries have set this ambitious goal. If they are successful, millions of people will be freed from the threat of malaria, but they cannot reach it alone. My Foundation, partnering with the Global Health Group, is supporting the efforts of four countries in Southern Africa to design and mobilize resources for new malaria elimination programs and share lessons learned with other countries around the world.
Today, our Malaria Elimination Group released documents that provide countries with new tools to design and run effective elimination programs. They will be a big help, necessary in giving all the world's children a malaria-free future, but will require more donors to provide affected nations with the support and long-term, predictable funding that they need. I urge all who can help to do so. Millions of lives, mostly very young ones, hang in the balance. This is a fight we can win.