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Secretary of State Visits Malaria Research Center in West Africa

During Secretary of State Colin Powell's recent tour of Africa, he not only met with Mali President Alpha Oumar Konare, but also visited the NIH-sponsored Malaria Research and Training Center at the University of Mali in Bamako, Mali, West Africa. He toured the state-of-the-art facility where development of safe and effective malaria vaccines is a research priority. Malian scientists administer research and training programs supported by NIAID's Division of Intramural Research and Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, the Fogarty International Center, the National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities, the World Health Organization, NASA and USAID.

Secretary Colin Powell and his wife Alma (l), meet with students (from l) Deidre Parrish of the University of Alabama; Sabrina Guillen of the University of Illinois; and Lynae Brayboy of Florida A&M University.

Each year, malaria strikes 300 million to 500 million people, and up to 2.7 million people die. Most of those affected are young children in Africa. In a short speech after the tour, Secretary Powell told the students, who gave him a rousing welcome, how impressed he was with the collaboration between Malian and U.S. scientists. He stressed the "commitment to do everything that the United States can do to solve the problem of communicable diseases around the world and especially in sub-Saharan Africa." He noted that the U.S. committed $200 million to a U.N. trust fund to help the world-wide fight against HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

Dr. Magaran Bagayoko (r), a researcher at the center, explains his research program (applying geographic information systems and remote sensing to malaria) to Powell as assistants look on.

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