March 10, 2016
Lusaka – Retired Rear Admiral Ziemer, the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) Coordinator was in Zambia on a three day visit February 24 to 26, 2016.
Admiral Ziemer held meetings with Zambian health officials in malaria control, and participated in the third President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) technical training that attracted about 150 representatives from 19 President’s Malaria Initiative supported countries.
According to Admiral Ziemer, malaria prevention and control is a major U.S. foreign assistance objective, underlined by President Obama in his recent State of the Union address where he emphasized how programs like the President’s Malaria Initiative show America at its best, doing the right thing to help others.
Zambia has been a malaria focus country since 2008 receiving a total of $186 million of PMI funding, which has led to more than 8 million insecticide-treated bed nets, 20 million rapid diagnostic tests, and 16 million life-saving malaria treatments being made available for Zambians.
In December 2006, Zambia was selected as a President’s Malaria Initiative country, whose strategy will focus on the following key interventions to combat malaria: Insecticide Treated Nets Indoor Residual Spraying Intermittent Preventative Treatment in Pregnancy, Diagnosis and Treatment.
Although there has been enormous progress, malaria continues to be a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Zambia affecting more than four million Zambians annually, accounting for approximately 30 percent of outpatient visits and resulting in almost 8,000 deaths each year, according to UNICEF.
The technical training is expected to enable the United States help Zambia to meet the malaria challenges by providing state-of-the-art updates and sharing of results, best practices, and experiences among PMI teams.
Admiral Ziemer was also interviewed on the PMI efforts to eliminate malaria in Zambia. To listen to the full interview, visit the U.S. Embassy’s YouTube channel at: https://youtu.be/BWfBJnulJ7w