Ambassador’s Eric P. Whitaker Remarks at the Launch “Zéro Palu! Je m’engage” Malaria Campaign



As delivered

October 18, 2018

  • Madam First Lady Hadjia Aissata Issoufou;
  • Ladies and Gentlemen, the Presidents of the Institutions of the Republic;
  • Ladies and Gentlemen, Members of the Government;
  • Honorable Members;
  • Mr. President of the Parliamentary Network Sida, Tuberculosis, Malaria;
  • Governor of the Niamey region;
  • Ladies and Gentlemen Technical and Financial Partners;
  • Ladies and Gentlemen, the members of the General Secretariat, the General and Central Directorates of the Ministry of Public Health;
  • Notable distinguished;
  • The representatives of the public and private press;
  • Guests,
  • Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to be here for the launch of “Zéro Palu! Je m’engage.”  We are strong supporters of this campaign.

“Zéro Palu! Je m’engage is an initiative to accelerate this region’s efforts towards elimination of malaria by 2030.

“Zéro Palu!” is a vision and a commitment that will:

  • Unite individual country efforts into regional action;
  • Accelerate implementation of universal access to effective malaria control interventions;
  • Implement and develop mechanisms for monitoring and implementation of a joint action plan; and
  • Reinforce the institutional capacities of research institutions and programs.

On behalf of the United States Government and the American people, I would like to thank everyone here today, particularly the First Lady and the Ministry of Health, who invited us to be part of “Zéro Palu!”

As you know, malaria remains a major public health problem in Niger and across the African continent. Its epidemiology and socio-economic impact make it one of the major challenges facing the health sector.

Malaria is an equal opportunity disease.  I have a personal stake in seeing Malaria eradicated.  I have had friends and colleagues fallen sick who have become gravely ill or even died from this scourge.

Globally, half of the world’s population is at risk of malaria.  In Niger, malaria is one of the biggest health problems facing the country with over 3.5 million cases annually, of which more than 50% are in children under 5 years of age.

The mobilization of additional resources for malaria control must remain at the top of the political agenda, including with the private sector.  It is imperative that communities also take greater ownership of malaria prevention and treatment.

I congratulate the government and all partners for their tireless efforts to eradicate malaria in Niger.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) together with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are implementing the United States’ President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) to support Niger’s malaria program by contributing approximately $18 million dollars each year to reduce malaria morbidity and mortality.

Our cumulative efforts make the dream of “Zéro Palu!” possible as inspired by this campaign.

I conclude by reaffirming the United States’ commitment to and support for this initiative.  My hope is that “Zéro Palu! Je m’engage is a great success.

Thank you for your attention.