On Malaria Awareness Day, April 25, 2007, a public-private partnership was launched between the U.S. Government (USG) and the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (GBC) to distribute more than 500,000 long-lasting insecticide-treated nets to some of the most vulnerable households in Zambia. This announcement is a follow-up to the 2006 White House Summit on Malaria. Through the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI) and the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the American people have joined with the GBC and the Zambian Government to provide protection against malaria for approximately 1 million Zambians with these nets.
This partnership will address critical linkages between malaria and HIV/AIDS in Zambia, which has among the highest prevalence in the world for both diseases. Malaria prevalence in Zambia has tripled over the past three decades. In a population of 10.2 million, there are up to 4 million clinical cases of malaria, accounting for 40 percent of outpatient visits and admissions to health care facilities, and as many as 50,000 deaths per year. People living with HIV/AIDS are extremely vulnerable to malaria, and face an increased likelihood of death and debilitating illness. In 2005, an estimated 1.1 million adults and children were living with HIV in Zambia. An estimated 98,000 adults and children died from AIDS, leaving behind a growing number of AIDS orphans, currently estimated at 710,000.
The partnership will build on an existing HIV/AIDS platform, RAPIDS (Reaching HIV-Affected People with Integrated Development and Support), a consortium of six organizations that provides an integrated package of community-based prevention, treatment and care support to orphans and vulnerable children and people living with HIV/AIDS in all nine provinces of Zambia. Consortium members include World Vision, Africare, CARE, Catholic Relief Services, the Salvation Army Zambia, and the Expanded Church Response. RAPIDS reaches more than 154,000 Zambian households through its network of 12,000 volunteer Zambian caregivers.
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