10/19/2007 04:04 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

An Audacious Goal

This week in Seattle, an extraordinary group of people -- scientists, policymakers, and advocates - came together for three days to discuss what can be done to stop malaria. Melinda and I issued a challenge to those attending the meeting. We asked them to begin charting a course to eradicate malaria - not just to control or reduce it, but to work toward a time when no one on earth is infected with malaria, and no mosquitoes carry the disease.

Today, malaria kills more than one million people every year, most of them children in Africa. That's the equivalent of losing every student in the New York City public school system in one year.

We know that eradicating malaria is an audacious goal. But advances in science and medicine, new political commitments, and the dedication of people like you have given the world an historic opportunity to conquer malaria. It won't be easy and it won't happen quickly, but I'm optimistic that we can make this disease history.

At the forum in Seattle, Melinda and I called on the U.S. presidential candidates to commit to expand the President's Malaria Initiative, a great program started by President Bush. I hope you will join us in asking all of the candidates to make this pledge and keep the fight against malaria on the national agenda.

I am confident that together, we can produce the energy, compassion, and commitment needed to win the fight against malaria.

To view a webcast of the Seattle malaria forum, visit here. For more information about how you can help fight malaria, visit here.

This post first appeared at the ONE campaign.