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Dr. Christian Loucq, director of the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, speaks at the inaugural Senate Malaria Working Group briefing. Photo: Courtesy of the Malaria Policy Center.

Dr. Christian Loucq, director of the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, joined two other malaria experts on October 4 to discuss malaria policies, funding, and research at the inaugural briefing of the Senate Malaria Working Group. This closed-door briefing, held for interested members of the US Senate and their staff, focused on what’s ahead in the fight against malaria and included policy recommendations for the Obama Administration to consider as it develops its Global Health Initiative.

In his presentation, Dr. Loucq highlighted the need to fund research and development for malaria, particularly for a malaria vaccine. He stated that MVI-supported clinical trials have provided the first rigorous scientific evidence that a vaccine against malaria is not only possible, but probable. The leading malaria vaccine candidate—RTS,S—just entered the final phase of testing, opening up the potential to save dramatically more lives, starting in little more than five years.

Ambassador Mark Green, managing director of the Malaria No More Policy Center, and Natasha Bilimoria, executive director of Friends of the Global Fight against AIDS, TB, and Malaria, spoke about the global malaria burden and the US government-supported interventions that are having a dramatic and positive impact.

The bipartisan Senate Malaria Working Group was created in August 2009 with leadership from Senators Russ Feingold (WI) and Roger Wicker (MS) to sustain awareness and support for anti-malaria efforts on Capitol Hill.

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Photo: Courtesy of the Malaria Policy Center.

Posted October 13, 2009.