Remarks by the U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission at the Launching of STOP MALARIA Campaign
Congress Hall “Palais Des Congrès”, Yaoundé
Thursday March 10, 2022
14:40 p.m. – 17:00 p.m.
- The minister of Public Health,
- Dear Members of the Government of the Republic of Cameroon,
- Dignitaries and Traditional authorities,
- Members of the civil society,
- Representatives of national and international organizations
- Distinguished guests and supporters of the STOP MALARIA CAMPAIGN
- Ladies and gentlemen,
It is an honor for me to represent the United States Government at this important event to support the elimination of malaria in Cameroon. The United States and Cameroon have a great partnership in the fight against malaria, a disease that kills too many in Cameroon and in many other parts of the world.
I would like to express the commitment of the United States to work together with the Ministry of Health to ensure a healthy future for the children, the women, and the men of this beautiful country.
Improving the health of Cameroonians is one of our top priorities. In the past decade, we have provided over 700 million dollars in health assistance to Cameroon, with more than $100 million in additional funding planned in the coming year. Our investments and close collaboration with Cameroonian partners have paid dividends in the fight against HIV/AIDS, COVID-19, tuberculosis, and malaria. The U.S. government provides health assistance to Cameroon through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) and COVID-19 response, the President’s Malaria Initiative, and other global health programs, and works across many U.S. government agencies to support Cameroon’s national programs.
I want to underscore that the United States fully recognizes that hundreds of thousands of people in Africa, mainly children, die from malaria every year. For many years, the U.S. government has been funding research towards a vaccine for malaria and we are encouraged by the World Health Organization’s recommendation of the first vaccine to prevent malaria in children ages 5-17 months. While the vaccine is a welcome new weapon in the fight against malaria, it works best when paired with mosquito nets and preventive and curative use of drugs and we continue to invest in a multipronged approach to tackling this complex disease.
The United States is proud to support Cameroon in its fight against malaria. The U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), led by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented together with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) saves lives by delivering cost-effective, lifesaving interventions alongside technical and operational assistance to support Cameroonian efforts. Four years ago, we launched PMI activities in Cameroon have since invested $111 million in the fight against malaria. Last, year we helped ensure more equitable access to care by pregnant women and children, by providing approximately 1.7 million rapid malaria diagnostic tests, 1.6 million doses of antimalarial drugs to treat malaria, and more than 610,000 mosquito nets impregnated with long-lasting insecticide.
For the past 4 years, the U.S. government has also helped protect close to 2 million children in the North and Far North regions by providing more than 7 million doses of preventative malaria treatment in support of the Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) campaign. The United States also works closely with the National Malaria Control Program to expand access to essential health services in hard-to-reach communities by training and equipping community health workers on malaria diagnosis and treatment. In addition to providing support for treatment, PMI also supports the prevention of malaria by supporting efforts to help people understand the importance of the consistent use and maintenance of mosquito nets, prompt care in the case of fever, and early and regular antenatal care for pregnant women.
On the national level, PMI also supports stronger, more-resilient health systems by strengthening supply chains, improving health data monitoring, and reinforcing health policies. We commend Cameroon’s efforts to sustain essential malaria services amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Cameroon’s continued resilience and creativity in the dual fight against malaria and COVID-19 is inspiring.
The goal of eliminating malaria is still too far away and we must strive to end malaria faster by reinforcing partnerships with the private sector, civil society, and local administrative units. The expansion of community health services, as well as innovation for continued effectiveness of drugs, mosquito nets and other strategies to further reduce the burden malaria places on communities are also key.
I would like to commend the government of Cameroon for elevating the fight against malaria and mobilizing stakeholders through the STOP MALARIA Campaign.
Together we can STOP MALARIA in Cameroon. On est ensemble.