Malaria presents us with hard truths - some that on the surface seem at odds. We see both progress and peril in the WHO World Malaria Report 2018.
- 46 countries - almost half of all malaria-affected countries - reported fewer than 10,000 malaria cases, up from 37 in 2010. The number of countries with less than 100 indigenous cases - a strong indicator that elimination is within reach - increased from 15 countries in 2010 to 26 in 2017.
- This year, Paraguay became the first country in the Americas to eliminate malaria in 45 years and 11 countries are on track for elimination in the next 2 years. But a child still dies every 2 minutes from malaria.
- Deaths from malaria continue to stagnate, declining at far slower rates than over the past decade.
- Surveillance and reporting are improving, but are not at strong enough levels to effectively find and track all cases of malaria.
- More insecticide-treated bed nets were distributed last year than at any time in history, but coverage remains suboptimal.
- We have new tools opening up possibilities we’ve never had before, but malaria cases are ticking up in the highest burden African countries.
- The growing use of rapid diagnostic tests to increase appropriate and early treatment has been a game changer, but we still need new tools to further transform the fight.
It’s unacceptable that people in half the world’s countries are nearing a life free of malaria while the other half still fear death by mosquito bite. As long as this imbalance persists, there is a risk that malaria will spread and put all countries at risk.
There is no standing still with malaria. We must move quickly to step up efforts and continue progress for all countries toward ending malaria for good. Fortunately, there has never been a better time to invest in malaria.
The World malaria report shows that although funding for malaria has remained relatively stable since 2010, the level of investment in 2017 is far from what is required to reach global malaria targets.
- We’ve found ways to improve efficiency and deliver more bed nets and other life-saving commodities than ever before. But if funding continues to flat-line as cases increase, we will not be able to continue getting essential tools and medicines to everyone in need.
- Recent improvements in supply chain efficiency and reduction in costs of medicines and diagnostics mean every dollar invested in malaria goes further than ever before.
Increased funding for the malaria fight will support the highest burden countries to:
- Bridge massive service delivery gaps to the most vulnerable
- Follow through in scaling up access to existing lifesaving interventions
- Use data in new ways to expand our impact
- Research and develop new and better tools
The Global Fund represents nearly 60% of all external assistance for malaria, and around 40% of total global spending on malaria. A successful replenishment of the Global Fund is an unquestionable prerequisite for achieving the Sustainable Development Goal's 2030 malaria target.
With more than 400,000 people projected to die from this preventable disease, the actions we take now will determine whether we will be the generation to end malaria.