WASHINGTON – A bipartisan resolution introduced by U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), co-chairs of the Senate Working Group on Malaria, passed the Senate unanimously on Monday. The resolution supports the goals and ideals of World Malaria Day, and affirmed support for U.S. leadership to combat malaria as a critical component of the President’s Global Health Initiative.

“During my time studying and working in Africa, I witnessed first-hand the havoc that malaria has had on entire villages, especially on women, children, and those most in need and susceptible,” said Senator Coons, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs. “Three million people die yearly from this preventable disease. The best way to improve life expectancy and engage in effective prevention efforts is to empower communities and governments with the tools and resources they need to save the lives of their people.”

“Malaria is devastating, but it can be prevented,” Senator Wicker said.  “It is important to bring attention to the efforts that have been made toward eliminating this terrible disease.”

Malaria is an infectious blood disease spread by mosquitoes, found most prevalently in the developing world. Ninety percent of malaria deaths occur in Africa and the majority of those killed are pregnant women and children under five years old.  

The resolution aims to raise awareness about malaria prevention efforts. Specifically, it expresses the sense of the Senate regarding the following issues:

  • Supports the goals and ideals of World Malaria Day, including the achievable target to ending malaria deaths by 2015;
  • Recognizes the importance of reducing malaria prevalence and deaths to improve overall child and maternal health, especially in sub-Saharan Africa;
  • Commends the recent progress made towards reducing global malaria deaths and prevalence, particularly through the efforts of the President’s Malaria Initiative and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria;
  • Welcomes ongoing public-private partnerships to research and develop more effective affordable tools for malaria diagnosis, treatment, and vaccination;
  • Recognizes the goals to combat malaria in the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDs, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-283);
  • Supports continued leadership by the United States in bilateral and multilateral efforts to combat malaria as a critical part of the President’s Global Health Initiative;
  • Encourages other members of the international community to sustain and scale up their support and financial contributions for worldwide efforts to combat malaria.

The bipartisan resolution, S.Con.Res.15, was cosponsored by Senators John Boozman (R-Ark.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.).