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Senator Wicker, Others Unite for Bipartisan Measure to Fight Disease Globally

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Chris Coons, D-Del., have introduced a resolution commemorating World Malaria Day, which was yesterday.Wicker and Coons are co-chairs of the Senate Malaria and Neglected Tropical Disease Caucus. The measure notes the importance of reducing malaria and related deaths in an effort to improve health in women and children globally, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.

“I am pleased to support America’s continued leadership in the global fight against malaria,” Wicker said. “Prevention and control programs under the President’s Malaria Initiative, reinforced with groundbreaking research by the U.S. Army, have had a tremendous impact on fighting this preventable disease for the 3.2 billion people who are at risk of contracting it.”

“Malaria is a preventable, treatable illness, yet it is still a leading cause of death in many developing countries around the world,” said Senator Coons. “Malaria is a health, humanitarian, security, and economic challenge that requires us all to work together to solve. I’m proud to join Senator Wicker and a bipartisan group of colleagues in introducing a resolution affirming our commitment to ending preventable deaths from malaria once and for all.”

Malaria is spread by mosquitoes, with 90 percent of deaths occurring in Africa. Of those deaths, 70 percent are in children under the age of 5. The President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) – started by President George W. Bush in 2005 – has helped reduce malaria deaths by 35 percent since its inception by partnering with local governments, the private sector, and faith communities and organizations.

In addition to Senators Wicker and Coons, cosponsors of the resolution include: Sens. John Boozman, R-Ark., Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Thad Cochran, R-Miss., Richard Durbin D-Ill., Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

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