Thanks to unprecedented international cooperation, the world is making impressive progress in the fight against malaria. [...] And this progress is not limited to malaria. Many countries have reduced new HIV infections by 50 percent or more over a similar period, and the infection rates for other debilitating tropical diseases have fallen significantly in recent years.
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria have helped save millions of lives. They have succeeded in part by encouraging recipient countries to take the lead and by involving civil society in their efforts. In 2000, the UN adopted eight Millennium Development Goals, one of which aimed to reduce child mortality by two-thirds between 1991 and 2015.
The Obama administration plans to use an additional $200 million to expand its fight against malaria, expanding services to 70 million more people in Africa and accelerating a global effort to eradicate the disease.
These refugees don't know dunks, nor do they know why a 25-year-old NBA star, coming off his breakout season, would fly more than 8,000 miles and 24 hours, risk malaria, typhoid and yellow fever, just to hang bed nets in their mud huts for the anti-malaria program Nothing But Nets. On his vacation. "Man, for a huge American sports star," said Nothing But Nets director Chris Helfrich, "he sure doesn't act like it."
The Africa trip is meant to highlight the administration's work on AIDS and Malaria. Bush's former speech writer Michael Gerson says the Bush years should be known for its soft power approach in Africa.