Malaria Consortium welcomes the launch of the World Malaria Report 2013 today, which outlines the progress being made towards global malaria targets set for 2015. Published by the World Health Organization (WHO), the report also highlights the current challenges in addressing malaria control and elimination goals.
Since 2000, malaria mortality rates have been reduced by 45 percent globally and 49 percent in Africa, saving an estimated 3.3 million lives, the vast majority of which were in the 10 countries with the highest malaria burden.
Despite encouraging results, evidence highlights there is progress still to be made, including universal access to insecticide treated nets, timely diagnosis and treatment for malaria and a critical gap in funding. Current funding levels make up less than half of the US$ 5.1 billion needed each year to provide universal access to malaria control and treatment, including the threat posed by the emergence of drug resistant parasites and insecticide resistant mosquitoes.
“The progress highlighted in the World Malaria Report 2013 demonstrates the positive effect of political will and sustained financial support.” said Malaria Consortium Chief Executive, Charles Nelson. “However, we are still not reaching all populations, particularly the most vulnerable and marginalised communities. Millions of people lack access to diagnosis and treatment, particularly in countries with fragile health systems. As we approach 2015 and beyond, we have the opportunity to achieve something remarkable but this will only happen if we meet these challenges.”
Between 2000 and 2012, there has been an unprecedented increase in prevention and control measures resulting in a consistent decline in malaria deaths and illness. The increase in political commitment and funding has helped to reduce incidence of malaria by 29 percent globally, and by 31 percent in Africa.
“This remarkable progress is no cause for complacency: absolute numbers of malaria cases and deaths are not going down as fast as they could,” said Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General. “The fact that so many people are infected and dying from mosquito bites is one of the greatest tragedies of the 21st century.”