ExxonMobil invests in programs targeted at improving healthcare, mainly in the developing world, with a particular focus on combatting malaria. In the United States, we focus on research related to environmental and community health. In 2015, worldwide health contributions totaled $23.6 million, with $17.3 million benefiting communities outside of the United States.
In several locations where we operate, malaria continues to have a major impact on local communities. However, progress continues in reducing the burden of disease: total deaths and infections continue to decline, with an estimated 438,000 deaths worldwide in 2015. Mortality rates have decreased by 60 percent worldwide and by nearly 70 percent in Africa since 2000. Since 2000, we have committed more than $146 million to help fund malaria programs throughout Africa and the Pacific Rim, reaching more than 125 million people. Our support has helped distribute 13.9 million bed nets, 3.8 million doses of antimalarial treatments, 2.6 million rapid diagnostic kits, and train 520,000 health workers. In 2015, we provided $12 million to the fight against malaria.
ExxonMobil committed $18 million in grants to three Houston health care facilities to support cancer prevention and cardiovascular research, expand pediatric care for children with autism and enhance pediatric liver disease research and clinical services. A $10 million grant to MD Anderson supports the Healthy Community Initiative, which implements strategies to reduce the risk of developing cancer and other chronic disease in the Houston area. A $5 million pledge to the Texas Heart Institute is directed to ground-breaking cardiovascular research and new medical discoveries to address heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States. A $3 million grant to Texas Children’s Hospital supports pioneering research and clinical services for children, including care and treatment of life-threatening liver disease.