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House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee Hearing Addresses Fight Against Malaria

“Leading global health experts told Capitol Hill lawmakers [Friday] that the fight against malaria is at a turning point, during a hearing on the U.S. role in combating malaria globally,” held by the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, GlobalPost’s “Global Pulse” blog reports. “Ambassador Mark Dybul, the executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, said in a briefing that because of a concerted and effective effort over the last 10 years to control malaria, the disease could be eradicated as soon as 20 years from now,” the blog writes, adding “[t]he Global Fund … provides around 50 percent of malaria funding worldwide, according to the multilateral organization’s U.S. advocate, Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria,” and the U.S. is the fund’s largest supporter.

The blog also notes the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), established in 2005 and “largely heralded as a significant bipartisan global health success.” Rear Admiral Tim Ziemer, who leads PMI, said during the hearing that the program “is a tremendous success story and yet is incomplete. … The gains are fragile and could be reversed without continued support,” the blog writes. “[I]n the still uncertain face of sequestration and negotiations over the fiscal year 2014 budget, experts said that any move to cut the program could roll back progress,” “Global Pulse” adds. The blog notes Colonel Peter Weina, deputy commander of Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, also testified at the hearing and includes comments from subcommittee Chair Chris Smith (R-N.J.) (Miley, 5/17). According to VOA News, the WHO “says that in the last 10 years, 20 countries have brought the disease under control.” The news service includes comments from Dybul, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci, and Guowu Bian, a malaria researcher at Michigan State University (Pearson, 5/17).