This post lays out the main takeaways from this year’s World Malaria Report:
- Progress: Seven million lives have been saved since 2000, that’s a 60% reduction of malaria cases and deaths. The report shows that the efforts to fight malaria from countries like India, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Pakistan have been successful, the tide is turning, cases are slowly but surely reducing. India in particular shows a growing success story reducing its burden by 24%!
- Peril: The outlook isn’t quite so bright for the highest burden countries. In fact, we are seeing signs of funding stalling, and cases starting to increase. The report also highlights that 50% of people in Africa are sleeping without an insecticide-treated mosquito net – the main tool used to protect families against malaria. But the scariest fact to come out of the report is that, without increased resourcing, we’re off track to end malaria.
Nobody should die from malaria. But the world faces a new reality: as progress stagnates, we are at risk of squandering years of toil, investment and success in reducing the number of people suffering from the disease… We recognise we have to do something different – now. So today we are launching a country-focused and -led plan to take comprehensive action against malaria by making our work more effective where it counts most – at local level – DR TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, WHO DIRECTOR-GENERAL
THE FACTS AND STATS:
Despite the stall in progress, you can’t ignore the success stories that have emerged from some malaria-affected countries over the last year:
- India has reduced its disease burden by 24%
- Rwanda recorded 430,000 fewer malaria cases in 2017 than last year
- Ethiopia and Pakistan marked decreases of over 240,000 cases over the same period
- China and El Salvador have reported zero cases of malaria for the first time
- Paraguay became certified malaria-free by WHO this summer
This gives us huge encouragement. We have the tools and the know-how to end malaria, we can end it in our generation but we should not assume this is a done deal, we need concerted, country-led action to make this happen.