Malaria Deaths Down 50% Since 2000
New figures released by the World Health Organisation show that the number of people dying from malaria has halved since 2000.
The rate in the WHO’s African Region, which has been responsible for the large majority of deaths from the infection, has shown a reduction of 54%. Despite a 43% population increase in the area, fewer people are now becoming infected or being asymptomatic carriers each year. The number of people infected fell from 173 million in 2000 to 128 million in 2013.
Access to accurate malaria diagnostic testing and effective treatment has significantly improved worldwide, as has access to insecticide-treated bed nets, with 214 million set for delivery across Africa by the end of this month. Despite the success, Dr Pedro L. Alonso, Director of WHO’s Global Malaria Programme, feels more could be done: “There are biological and technical challenges, but we are working with partners to be proactive in developing the right responses to these,” he said. “There is a strong pipeline of innovative new products that will soon transform malaria control and elimination. We can go a lot further.”
Many countries are moving towards malaria elimination, with Azerbaijan and Sri Lanka reporting no indigenous cases of the disease for the first time in 2013. Globally, 3.2 billion people in 97 countries and territories are at risk of being infected with malaria according to the WHO.
You can view the World Malaria Report 2014 here.