ASTMH World Malaria Day 2013 Statement
Deerfield, Ill. — A preponderance of evidence demonstrates that U.S. investments in the treatment and prevention of malaria worldwide are working. Not only have malaria death rates in Africa dropped by one-third in the last decade, but 35 of the 53 non-African countries affected by malaria have cut their malaria cases by 50 percent in the same time span. In less than five years, malaria-related deaths have fallen by almost 150,000 annually, and there is a promising vaccine on the horizon.
But now is not the time to scale back. The mission is far from complete. To topple malaria and further reduce the 660,000 annual deaths from the disease, international investments in malaria research and development must be sustained.
ASTMH members are at the forefront of the global fight against malaria – providing the science and research to improve prevention and treatment tools. “While we recognize the vital importance of U.S. governmental and private sector investments in malaria control, as well as that of international partners, we strongly believe that it is essential to avoid the temptation of standing on our laurels,” says Alan J. Magill, MD, FASTMH, ASTMH president-elect. “We’re well on our way, but there’s still a lot of hard work ahead, especially with the threat of drug-resistant malaria looming in some parts of the globe.”
The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH), founded in 1903, is a worldwide organization of scientists, clinicians and program professionals whose mission is to promote global health through the prevention and control of infectious and other diseases that disproportionately afflict the global poor. Research, health care and education are the central activities of ASTMH members, whose work bridges basic laboratory research to international field work and clinics to countrywide programs.