World Malaria Day is an occasion to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment for malaria prevention and control.
A push for prevention
This year’s global theme for World Malaria Day is End Malaria for Good. In the lead-up to 25 April, WHO is shining a spotlight on prevention, a critical strategy for reducing the toll of a disease that continues to kill more than 400 000 people annually.
Since 2000, malaria prevention has played an important role in reducing cases and deaths, primarily through the scale up of insecticide-treated nets and indoor spraying with insecticides.
Across sub-Saharan Africa, where the disease is heavily concentrated, a greater share of the population is sleeping under insecticide-treated nets. In 2015, an estimated 53% of the population at risk slept under a treated net compared to 30% in 2010. In 20 African countries, preventive treatment for pregnant woman increased five-fold between 2010 and 2015.
Prevention scale-up is yielding results: According to the latest estimates from WHO, many countries with ongoing malaria transmission have reduced their disease burden significantly. On a global scale, new malaria cases fell by 21% between 2010 and 2015. Malaria death rates fell by 29% in the same 5-year period.