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A World Malaria Day Message from PMI Impact Malaria’s Director, Ricki Orford

This year, we’re approaching World Malaria Day with a vivid and shared understanding of the catastrophic impact that infectious diseases can have on our world. As we remain committed to defeating malaria—one of the world’s oldest and most devastating diseases—COVID-19 is a reminder that emerging infectious diseases pose a serious challenge in our work to end malaria.

Recognizing the burden of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa and the region’s fragile health infrastructure, the World Health Organization (WHO) has stressed that “ensuring access to core malaria prevention measures is an important strategy for reducing the strain on health systems.” PMI Impact Malaria, the global service delivery project of the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), supports the prevention of malaria infection, illness, and death through strengthening malaria service delivery—particularly medicine-based prevention for young children and pregnant women, the two populations most vulnerable to malaria.

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the crucial role of health care providers and community health volunteers in preventing and responding to the human toll of infectious diseases. To help advance the capacity of health workers and volunteers to provide robust malaria services, we collaborate closely with national malaria programs to improve the access, quality, and efficiency of malaria service delivery.

In 2019, we worked with national malaria programs on their seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) campaigns to prevent malaria in about 3.7 million children. As malaria season nears in sub-Saharan Africa and challenges from COVID-19 threaten the region, PMI Impact Malaria is proud to be supporting the planning and implementation of SMC campaigns 2020 to continue to protect millions of children from malaria.

What does our work of malaria service delivery look like on-the-ground?

  • Midwives intervene in Cote d’Ivoire to keep expectant mothers safe from malaria. Watch our newly launched 3-minute storytelling video and check out this photo-showcasing blog post.
  • Kenya’s community health volunteers turn the tide against malaria on Lake Victoria. Learn more through Eric’s story.
  • Community health workers in the Sahel region of Africa prevent malaria in young children during the rainy season. See a snapshot of the kids who benefitted from this work in Cameroon, Mali, and Niger.

During this time when we’re so aware that public health connects us all, I want to especially thank you for your partnership in working to end malaria. I look forward to continuing to tell stories of the human impact of our work and, increasingly, sharing our country-driven results and lessons learned to advance malaria service delivery. Thank you for your interest and support.

Ricki Orford

PMI Impact Malaria is led by Population Services International (PSI) in partnership with Jhpiego, Medical Care Development International (MCDI), and UCSF.

Both photos credited to Mwangi Kirubi, PMI Impact Malaria

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