In 2017, worldwide health and environmental contributions totaled $17.4 million, with $11.1 million benefiting communities outside of the United States. Our environmental investments focus on several critical areas including conservation in a range of ecosystems; environmental education and outreach; and scientific research of environmental issues of global importance. These contributions are only a small portion of our company’s overall investments in the environmental area. For example, investments do not include environmental capital and operating expenditures.
We invest in programs targeted at improving health, mainly in the developing world, with a particular focus on combating malaria. In many locations where we operate, malaria continues to have a major impact on local communities. Successful global efforts continue to reduce the burden of disease, yet, about 450,000 deaths were reported worldwide in 2017. Mortality rates have decreased by approximately 60 percent worldwide since 2000. From 2000 until year-end 2017, we committed more than $163 million to help fund malaria programs throughout Africa and the Pacific Rim, reaching more than 125 million people. Our support has helped distribute more than 14 million bed nets, 4.7 million doses of antimalarial treatments, more than 3 million rapid diagnostic kits and train more than 650,000 health workers. In 2017, we provided $7.4 million to the fight against malaria. In the United States, we focus on research related to environmental and community health. ExxonMobil committed a total of $18 million in multi-year 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.