WASHINGTON – President Bush will call on the private sector, foundations and volunteer groups to match the U.S. government's financial commitment to educate the public about malaria during a White House summit on the disease in December.
The White House announced Friday that Bush and first lady Laura Bush have invited international experts, non-governmental groups and religious and service organizations to discuss ways to control the preventable disease that kills one child in Africa every 30 seconds.
In June 2005, Bush announced a $1.2 billion, five-year initiative aimed at halving malaria-related deaths in as many as 15 countries in Africa.
"In the overwhelming majority of cases, the victims are less than 5 years old -- their lives ended by nothing more than a mosquito bite," Bush said at the time.
Malaria sickens up to half a billion people a year and kills more than 1 million, many of them young children.
Bush's malaria initiative aims to provide tens of millions of dollars to Tanzania, Uganda and Angola this year. At least four countries are to be added in 2007, followed by at least five more in 2008 for eventual total spending of $1.2 billion.
The goal is to eventually cover 175 million people in at least 15 countries most affected by the disease, Bush said.