Cong. Smith Chairs Malaria Hearing - Challenges & hopes of fight against deadly disease detailed

December 7, 2011

The deadly international killer known as malaria was the target of a congressional hearing held Monday by Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04), chairman of the House congressional panel that oversees global health issues.

“For the last century, America has been a leader in the fight against malaria,” said Smith. “While the United States and several other countries have been able to eliminate malaria, this deadly disease still presents a serious challenge to other parts of our world.”

The hearing, entitled “Fighting Malaria: Progress and Challenges,” focused on the latest developments, including promising new preventative measures against the disease, which annually kills three-quarters of a million people around the world, mostly children. C-SPAN provided live coverage of the testimony, which can be viewed in its video library of the hearing.

“What began for the United States as an effort to protect our troops abroad and citizens here at home has become for us a larger global health objective,” Smith said. “In the last decade we have seen a renewed commitment by the United States, international organizations, and private foundations to eliminate all malaria deaths. The effort received a notable boost in 2007 when Bill and Melinda Gates renewed the challenge of worldwide malaria eradication. While much progress has been made in combating malaria, as we have seen from past eradication efforts, malaria can resurge when treatment becomes ineffective through drug resistance.”

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