Where women and families live should not determine if they live -- this is the philosophy driving Jhpiego's work in 14 countries to defeat malaria, a disease that impacts millions primarily in low-income countries.
The progress made in the six years since the first World Malaria Day has not only saved millions of lives (child deaths this year are below 500,000 for the first time in history), but given us reason to believe, this World Malaria Day, we can defeat malaria in our lifetime.
Malaria continues to inflict a major toll on least developed countries -- primarily in Africa -- and millions of people still lack access to life-saving interventions. In Africa, malaria kills a child every minute.
The disease steals 650,000 lives around the world each year, devastating entire communities and undermining opportunities for prosperity and growth -- and disproportionately affecting the African continent.
Malaria is a disease that is not on the top of mind of the general public, and it's important that we change this, the more people know about it, the better chance we have to make it a disease of the past. We can't let a mosquito win.
According to the World Health Organization, 650,000 people still die every year from this preventable disease, and most of those people are children under five years of age. Stop here and let that sink in: 650,000.
Diseases do not recognize borders. Mosquitos that transmit malaria don't either. The investments that the world makes to the Global Fund are going to allow us to continue to implement high-impact interventions.
There's a reason we recognize World Malaria Day annually, and it is this: While there is no vaccine, malaria is both preventable and curable. But travelers, expatriates, businesses, NGOs and universities must know the risks beforehand.
One can certainly say that throughout history it's been individuals who have turned the tide against evil and entropy. What's changed in this age of social media is the extent to which -- and the speed with which -- warriors for good can be assembled.
Peace Corps volunteers, in villages and towns across Africa, are complementing the work of global partners. Getting mosquito nets and malaria diagnostics and medicines to those in need is a core focus of PMI.
This week, on April 25, we will observe World Malaria Day. There's no better time to join a movement that is saving lives. My prayer is that one day, there will be no malaria. My hope is that day will come soon.