Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for the ‘Malaria’ Category

Using A Tiny Guillotine In The Fight Against Malaria


440,000 died from malaria in 2016.

“…..To produce a vaccine for mass deployment, biotech firm Sanaria has to decapitate and dissect out the salivary glands, which hold the malaria-causing parasite, for each individual mosquito—by hand. To speed up this painstaking process, they’ve partnered with medical roboticists from Johns Hopkins University to engineer a mosquito guillotine that technicians can use to decapitate 30 insects at a time. It’s a first step toward an eventual goal of a fully automated robotic guillotine, which could help Sanaria produce that elusive mass-produced, effective malaria vaccine…..”

Political Instability in Venezuela and Malaria Resurgence


Jaramillo-Ochoa R, Sippy R, Farrell DF, Cueva-Aponte C, Beltrán-Ayala E, Gonzaga JL, et al. Effects of Political Instability in Venezuela on Malaria Resurgence at Ecuador–Peru Border, 2018. Emerg Infect Dis. 2019;25(4):834-836.

Probable migration route of imported malaria cases described in study of effects of political instability in Venezuela on malaria resurgence at the Ecuador–Peru Border, 2018. A) Locations of the 4 countries along the migration route in South America; B) El Oro Province and Tumbes Region on the Ecuador–Peru border. The city of Huaquillas, Ecuador, is 70 km southwest of Machala, the location of the single autochthonous malaria case in this country. Huaquillas is the primary border crossing from Ec

Probable migration route of imported malaria cases described in study of effects of political instability in Venezuela on malaria resurgence at the Ecuador–Peru border, 2018. A) Locations of the 4 countries along the migration route in South America; B) El Oro Province and Tumbes Region on the Ecuador–Peru border. The city of Huaquillas, Ecuador, is 70 km southwest of Machala, the location of the single autochthonous malaria case in this province. Huaquillas is the primary border crossing from Ecuador into Peru. Tumbes, the source of the 3 autochthonous cases in Peru, is the capital of Tumbes Region and is 22 km from the border. Dashed line in panel B broadly denotes the migration route taken from Venezuela through Colombia and Ecuador to Peru. Note the proximity of these countries and additional potential malarial resurgence through migration to Central America, the Caribbean, and the United States.

Bayer has launched a combination indoor residual spray called Fludora Fusion, which combines neonicotinoid clothiandin with pyrethroid deltamethrin. The product is sprayed onto walls inside a house and when a mosquito comes into contact with it, it is killed within 24-48-hours.


“……After several years of steady declines, annual cases of the mosquito-borne disease are leveling off, the World Health Organization’s 2018 malaria report showed in November.

The report showed around 435,000 deaths and 219 million malaria cases in 2017 worldwide, both little changed from 2016. Global case numbers fell steadily from 239 million in 2010 to 214 million in 2015, and deaths from 607,000 to around 500,000 from 2010 to 2013……”


Artesunate rectal suppositories: A God-send in the fight against deadly malaria


“…..The most important new element is artesunate delivered as a soft rectal suppository. Artesunate is the drug that hospitals inject into children in mortal danger from malaria infections of the brain. The new version comes in a form that can be given by a village health worker or even a parent.

Rectal administration gets the drug into the blood quickly and avoids the possibility that the child will vomit up the medication. Ideally, each two-dose box kills enough parasites to buy six to 12 more hours for a child to reach higher-level care….

Other advances that help save children with malaria include rapid diagnostic tests, training local health workers to recognize the disease and a fleet of bicycle ambulances.

The test gives a diagnosis in minutes with only a finger-prick drop of blood.

The ambulances are metal carts about six feet long and four feet wide that can be made in a local welding shop and attached to most bicycles. A mother and child can ride flat or sitting, and the cart can navigate dirt tracks too narrow for cars……”

Aspidosperma pyrifolium: Anti-malarial plant?

Malaria Journal

Aspidosperma pyrifolium, a medicinal plant from the Brazilian caatinga, displays a high antiplasmodial activity and low cytotoxicity

  • Isabela P. Ceravolo
  • Carlos L. Zani
  • Flávio J. B. Figueiredo
  • Markus Kohlhoff
  • Antônio E. G. Santana
  • Antoniana U. Krettli
Malaria Journal 2018; 17:436


DRC: Fighting Malaria and Ebola at the same time


28 November 2018 | BENI: A spike in malaria cases is threatening the health of people in parts of the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) where health workers are also battling an Ebola outbreak.  In response, a four-day mass drug administration (MDA) campaign was launched today in the Northern Kivu province town of Beni, with a target to reach up to 450 000 people with anti-malarial drugs combined with the distribution of insecticide-treated mosquito nets.

Malaria control campaign launched in Democratic Republic of the Congo to save lives and aid Ebola response

The malaria control campaign is being led by the DRC National Malaria Control Programme, supported by the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, the Global Fund and the United States President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI). The campaign is modelled after the campaign implemented in Sierra Leone during the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which was instrumental in lowering illness and deaths from malaria in the areas reached.

“Controlling malaria is critical in areas like North Kivu, as it causes widespread disease and death, especially among the region’s children,” says Dr Yokouide Allarangar, WHO’s Representative to the DRC. “This anti-malaria campaign will also help reduce the pressure on the overall health system, which is currently striving to protect people from the ongoing Ebola threat in the region.”

One campaign impacting two diseases

North Kivu’s malaria outbreak has overburdened Ebola responders; many suspected cases of Ebola have turned out to be malaria, as early symptoms of both diseases are similar. Up to 50% of people screened in Ebola treatment centers have been found to only have malaria.

Therefore, the anti-malaria campaign has two main aims.

Firstly, the distribution of insecticide-treated mosquito nets will prevent malaria transmission and its accompanying health consequences, thus saving lives.

Secondly, the mass drug administration will treat people who have already contracted malaria and curtail transmission of malaria among Ebola-affected populations and health centres. Having fewer people present with malaria will lessen the workload  on already stretched Ebola treatment centres.

DRC’s malaria challenge

From 2016-2017, DRC observed an estimated increase of more than half a million malaria cases (24.4 million to 25 million), according to the WHO World malaria report 2018. DRC is the second-leading country in the world for malaria cases, after Nigeria, accounting for 11% of the 219 million cases and 435 000 deaths from malaria in 2017.

In North Kivu province, the area experiencing the brunt of the Ebola outbreak, there has already been an up to eight-fold increase in malaria incidence as of early September 2018 (or approximately 2000 cases registered per week) compared to the same period in 2017.

Despite recent improvements in coverage of malaria interventions, DRC continues to experience challenges in access to preventive and curative malaria interventions, as well as an environment that supports very high transmission rates. Funding, infrastructure challenges and insecurity are all key obstacles to achieving the intervention coverage needed to protect populations at risk.

Ongoing Ebola outbreak in North Kivu Province

North Kivu province is the epicentre of an Ebola outbreak that was announced on 2 August and has caused more than 365 cases and 236 deaths. The town of Beni has been one of the most affected. Political instability, violence, and a refugee and internally-displaced people crisis have made the current Ebola outbreak one of the most complex and difficult public health challenges in recent history.

WHO: Putting stalled malaria control efforts back on track


Reductions in malaria cases have stalled after several years of decline globally, according to the new World malaria report 2018. To get the reduction in malaria deaths and disease back on track, WHO and partners are joining a new country-led response, launched today, to scale up prevention and treatment, and increased investment, to protect vulnerable people from the deadly disease.

For the second consecutive year, the annual report produced by WHO reveals a plateauing in numbers of people affected by malaria: in 2017, there were an estimated 219 million cases of malaria, compared to 217 million the year before. But in the years prior, the number of people contracting malaria globally had been steadily falling, from 239 million in 2010 to 214 million in 2015.

“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,” says Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “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.”

Where malaria is hitting hardest

In 2017, approximately 70% of all malaria cases (151 million) and deaths (274 000) were concentrated in 11 countries: 10 in Africa (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda and United Republic of Tanzania) and India. There were 3.5 million more malaria cases reported in these 10 African countries in 2017 compared to the previous year, while India, however, showed progress in reducing its disease burden.

Despite marginal increases in recent years in the distribution and use of insecticide-treated bed nets in sub-Saharan Africa – the primary tool for preventing malaria – the report highlights major coverage gaps. In 2017, an estimated half of at-risk people in Africa did not sleep under a treated net. Also, fewer homes are being protected by indoor residual spraying than before, and access to preventive therapies that protect pregnant women and children from malaria remains too low.

High impact response needed

In line with WHO’s strategic vision to scale up activities to protect people’s health, the new country-driven “High burden to high impact” response plan has been launched to support nations with most malaria cases and deaths. The response follows a call made by Dr Tedros at the World Health Assembly in May 2018 for an aggressive new approach to jump-start progress against malaria. It is based on four pillars:

  • Galvanizing national and global political attention to reduce malaria deaths;
  • Driving impact through the strategic use of information;
  • Establishing best global guidance, policies and strategies suitable for all malaria endemic countries; and
  • Implementing a coordinated country response.

Catalyzed by WHO and the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, “High burden to high impact” builds on the principle that no one should die from a disease that can be easily prevented and diagnosed, and that is entirely curable with available treatments.

“There is no standing still with malaria. The latest World malaria report shows that further progress is not inevitable and that business as usual is no longer an option,” said Dr Kesete Admasu, CEO of the RBM Partnership. “The new country-led response will jumpstart aggressive new malaria control efforts in the highest burden countries and will be crucial to get back on track with fighting one of the most pressing health challenges we face.”

Targets set by the WHO Global technical strategy for malaria 2016–2030 to reduce malaria case incidence and death rates by at least 40% by 2020 are not on track to being met.

Pockets of progress

The report highlights some positive progress. The number of countries nearing elimination continues to grow (46 in 2017 compared to 37 in 2010). Meanwhile in China and El Salvador, where malaria had long been endemic, no local transmission of malaria was reported in 2017, proof that intensive, country-led control efforts can succeed in reducing the risk people face from the disease.

In 2018, WHO certified Paraguay as malaria free, the first country in the Americas to receive this status in 45 years. Three other countries – Algeria, Argentina and Uzbekistan – have requested official malaria-free certification from WHO.

India – a country that represents 4% of the global malaria burden – recorded a 24% reduction in cases in 2017 compared to 2016. Also in Rwanda, 436 000 fewer cases were recorded in 2017 compared to 2016. Ethiopia and Pakistan both reported marked decreases of more than
240 000 in the same period.

“When countries prioritize action on malaria, we see the results in lives saved and cases reduced,” says Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “WHO and global malaria control partners will continue striving to help governments, especially those with the highest burden, scale up the response to malaria.”

Domestic financing is key

As reductions in malaria cases and deaths slow, funding for the global response has also shown a levelling off, with US$ 3.1 billion made available for control and elimination programmes in 2017 including US$ 900 million (28%) from governments of malaria endemic countries.  The United States of America remains the largest single international donor, contributing US$ 1.2 billion (39%) in 2017.

To meet the 2030 targets of the global malaria strategy, malaria investments should reach at least US$6.6 billion annually by 2020 – more than double the amount available today.

Editors note

Download the WHO World malaria report 2018 app for an interactive experience with the report’s country data: App Store (iOS devices) | Google Play (Android devices).

WHO: 2018’s World Malaria Report at a Glance


This year’s World malaria report at a glance

19 November 2018

The WHO’s 11th World malaria report summarizes global progress in the fight against malaria up to the end of 2017. The 2017 report showed that progress against malaria has stalled in many countries, and that the world was unlikely to achieve the WHO Global technical strategy for malaria 2016–2030 (GTS) morbidity and mortality targets for 2020. One year on, the 2018 report describes progress since then, including efforts to intensify the response in the highest burden countries.

Global and regional malaria burden, in numbers

Malaria cases

In 2017, an estimated 219 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide (95% confidence interval [CI]: 203–262 million), compared with 239 million cases in 2010 (95% CI: 219–285 million) and 217 million cases in 2016 (95% CI: 200–259 million).

Although there were an estimated 20 million fewer malaria cases in 2017 than in 2010, data for the period 2015–2017 highlight that no significant progress in reducing global malaria cases was made in this timeframe.

Most malaria cases in 2017 were in the WHO African Region (200 million or 92%), followed by the WHO South-East Asia Region with 5% of the cases and the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region with 2%.

Fifteen countries in sub-Saharan Africa and India carried almost 80% of the global malaria burden. Five countries accounted for nearly half of all malaria cases worldwide: Nigeria (25%), Democratic Republic of the Congo (11%), Mozambique (5%), India (4%) and Uganda (4%).

The 10 highest burden countries in Africa reported increases in cases of malaria in 2017 compared with 2016. Of these, Nigeria, Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of the Congo had the highest estimated increases, all greater than half a million cases. In contrast, India reported 3 million fewer cases in the same period, a 24% decrease compared with 2016.

The incidence rate of malaria declined globally between 2010 and 2017, from 72 to 59 cases per 1000 population at risk. Although this represents an 18% reduction over the period, the number of cases per 1000 population at risk has stood at 59 for the past 3 years.

The WHO South-East Asia Region continued to see its incidence rate fall – from 17 cases of the disease per 1000 population at risk in 2010 to 7 in 2017 (a 59% decrease). All other WHO regions recorded either little progress or an increase in incidence rate. The WHO Region of the Americas recorded a rise, largely due to increases in malaria transmission in Brazil, Nicaragua and Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of). In the WHO African Region, the malaria incidence rate remained at 219 cases per 1000 population at risk for the second year in a row.

Plasmodium falciparum is the most prevalent malaria parasite in the WHO African Region, accounting for 99.7% of estimated malaria cases in 2017, as well as in the WHO regions of South-East Asia (62.8%), the Eastern Mediterranean (69%) and the Western Pacific (71.9%). P. vivax is the predominant parasite in the WHO Region of the Americas, representing 74.1% of malaria cases.

Malaria deaths

In 2017, there were an estimated 435 000 deaths from malaria globally, compared with 451  000 estimated deaths in 2016, and 607 000 in 2010.

Children aged under 5 years are the most vulnerable group affected by malaria. In 2017, they accounted for 61% (266 000) of all malaria deaths worldwide.

The WHO African Region accounted for 93% of all malaria deaths in 2017. Although the WHO African Region was home to the highest number of malaria deaths in 2017, it also accounted for 88% of the 172 000 fewer global malaria deaths reported in 2017 compared with 2010.

Nearly 80% of global malaria deaths in 2017 were concentrated in 17 countries in the WHO African Region and India; 7 of these countries accounted for 53% of all global malaria deaths: Nigeria (19%), Democratic Republic of the Congo (11%), Burkina Faso (6%), United Republic of Tanzania (5%), Sierra Leone (4%), Niger (4%) and India (4%).

All WHO regions except the WHO Region of the Americas recorded reductions in mortality in 2017 compared with 2010. The largest declines occurred in the WHO regions of South- East Asia (54%), Africa (40%) and the Eastern Mediterranean (10%). Despite these gains, the malaria mortality reduction rate has also slowed since 2015, reflecting the estimated trends in malaria case incidence.

Malaria-related anaemia

This year’s report includes a section on malaria-related anaemia, a condition that, left untreated, can result in death, especially among vulnerable populations such as pregnant women and children aged under 5 years.

Anaemia was once a key indicator of progress in malaria control, and its prevalence was used to evaluate the efficacy of interventions. Recent years have seen a decline in awareness of the burden of malaria-associated anaemia

Despite its importance as a direct and indirect consequence of malaria, the prevalence of anaemia among populations vulnerable to the disease has not been reported consistently as a metric of malaria transmission and burden.

Data from household surveys conducted in 16 high-burden African countries between 2015 and 2017 show that, among children aged under 5 years, the prevalence of any anaemia was 61%, mild anaemia 25%, moderate anaemia 33% and severe anaemia 3%. Of children who tested positive for malaria, the prevalence of any anaemia was 79%, mild anaemia 21%, moderate anaemia 50% and severe anaemia 8%.

Investments in malaria programmes and research

Malaria control and elimination investments

In 2017, an estimated US$ 3.1 billion was invested in malaria control and elimination efforts globally by governments of malaria endemic countries and international partners – an amount slighter higher than the figure reported for 2016.

Nearly three quarters (US$ 2.2 billion) of investments in 2017 were spent in the WHO African Region, followed by the WHO regions of South-East Asia (US$ 300 million), the Americas (US$ 200 million), and the Eastern Mediterranean and the Western Pacific (US$ 100 million each).

In 2017, US$ 1.4 billion was invested in low-income countries, US$ 1.2 billion in lower-middle income countries and US$ 300 million in upper-middle-income countries. International funding represented the major source of funding in low-income and lower-middle-income countries, at 87% and 70%, respectively.

Governments of endemic countries contributed 28% of total funding (US$ 900 million) in 2017, a figure unchanged from 2016. Two thirds of domestically sourced funds were invested in malaria control activities carried out by national malaria programmes (NMPs), with the remaining share estimated as the cost of patient care.

As in previous years, the United States of America (USA) was the largest international source of malaria financing, providing US$ 1.2 billion (39%) in 2017. Country members of the Development Assistance Committee together accounted for US$ 700 million (21%). The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland contributed around US$ 300 million (9%) while the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided US$ 100 million (2%).

Of the US$ 3.1 billion invested in 2017, US$ 1.3 billion was channelled through the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Investment outlook

Although funding for malaria has remained relatively stable since 2010, the level of investment in 2017 is far from what is required to reach the first 2 milestones of the GTS; that is, a reduction of at least 40% in malaria case incidence and mortality rates globally by 2020, compared with 2015 levels.

To reach the GTS 2030 targets, it is estimated that annual malaria funding will need to increase to at least US$ 6.6 billion per year by 2020.

Stepping up investments in malaria research and development is key to achieving the GTS targets. In 2016, US$ 588 million was spent in this area, representing 85% of the estimated annual need for research and development.

Although research and development funding for malaria vaccines and drugs declined in 2016 compared with 2015, investments in vector control products almost doubled, from US$ 33 million to US$ 61 million.

Deliveries of malaria commodities

Insecticide-treated mosquito nets

Between 2015 and 2017, a total of 624 million insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs), mainly long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs), were reported by manufacturers as having been delivered globally. This represents a substantial increase over the previous period 2012–2014, when 465 million ITNs were delivered globally.

An estimated 552 million ITNs were distributed by NMPs globally, with most (459 million or 83%) being delivered in sub-Saharan Africa over the period 2015–2017.

Globally, 85% of ITNs were distributed through free mass distribution campaigns, 8% in antenatal care facilities and 4% as part of immunization programmes.

Rapid diagnostic tests

An estimated 276 million rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) were sold globally in 2017.

In 2017, 245 million RDTs were distributed by NMPs. Most RDTs (66%) were tests that detected P. falciparum only and were supplied to sub-Saharan Africa.

In sub-Saharan Africa, RDTs are becoming increasingly the most used method to test for malaria diagnosis among suspected malaria patients in public health facilities. In 2017, an estimated 75% of malaria tests were conducted using RDTs, up from 40% in 2010.

Artemisinin-based combination therapy

An estimated 2.74 billion treatment courses of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) were procured by countries over the period 2010–2017. An estimated 62% of these procurements were reported to have been made for the public sector.

During the period 2010–2017, 1.45 billion ACT treatment courses were delivered by NMPs, of which 1.42 billion (98%) were in the WHO African Region.

With increases in diagnostic testing in recent years, ACT treatment courses are becoming more targeted towards patients who tested positive for malaria. This is demonstrated by a substantially reduced ratio of ACTs to tests (0.8 in 2017 compared with 2.5 in 2010). Nevertheless, this implies that an estimated 30% of patients who received ACTs were not tested for malaria.

Preventing malaria

Vector control

Half of people at risk of malaria in Africa are sleeping under an ITN: in 2017, 50% of the population was protected by this intervention, an increase from 29% in 2010. Furthermore, the percentage of the population with access to an ITN increased from 33% in 2010 to 56% in 2017. However, coverage has improved only marginally since 2015 and has been at a standstill since 2016.

Households with at least 1 ITN for every 2 people doubled to 40% between 2010 and 2017. However, this figure represents only a modest increase over the past 3 years, and remains far from the target of universal coverage.

Fewer people at risk of malaria are being protected by indoor residual spraying (IRS), a prevention method that involves spraying the inside walls of dwellings with insecticides. Globally, IRS protection declined from a peak of 5% in 2010 to 3% in 2017, with decreases seen across all WHO regions.

In the WHO African Region, IRS coverage dropped from 80 million people at risk in 2010, to a low point of 51 million in 2016 before rising to 64 million in 2017. In other WHO regions, the number of people protected with IRS in 2017 was 1.5 million in the Americas, 7.5 million in the Eastern Mediterranean, 41 million in South-East Asia, and 1.5 million in the Western Pacific.

The declines in IRS coverage are occurring as countries change or rotate insecticides (changing to more expensive chemicals), and as operational strategies change (e.g. decreasing at-risk populations in malaria elimination countries).

Preventive therapies

To protect women in areas of moderate and high malaria transmission in Africa, WHO recommends “intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy” (IPTp) with the antimalarial drug sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine. Among 33 African countries that reported on IPTp coverage levels in 2017, an estimated 22% of eligible pregnant women received the recommended 3 or more doses of IPTp, compared with 17% in 2015 and 0% in 2010.

In 2017, 15.7 million children in 12 countries in Africa’s Sahel subregion were protected through seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) programmes. However, about 13.6 million children who could have benefited from this intervention were not covered, mainly due to a lack of funding.

Diagnostic testing and treatment

Accessing care

Prompt diagnosis and treatment is the most effective way to prevent a mild case of malaria from developing into severe disease and death. Based on national household surveys completed in 19 countries in sub-Saharan Africa between 2015 and 2017, a median of 52% (interquartile range [IQR]: 44–62%) of children with a fever (febrile) were taken to a trained medical provider for care. This includes public sector hospitals and clinics, formal private sector health facilities and community health workers.

Although more febrile children were brought for care in the public health sector (median: 36%, IQR: 30–46%) than in the formal medical private sector (median: 8%, IQR: 5–10%), a high proportion of febrile children did not receive any medical attention (median: 40%, IQR: 28–45%). Poor access to health care providers or lack of awareness of malaria symptoms among caregivers are among the contributing factors.

The national surveys reveal disparities in access to health care based on household income and location: the percentage of febrile children brought for care was higher in wealthier households (median: 72%, IQR: 62–75%) compared with poorer households (median: 58%, IQR: 47–67%), and was higher among those living in urban areas (median: 69%, IQR: 59–76%) compared with rural areas (median: 60%, IQR: 51–71%).

Diagnosing malaria

According to 58 surveys conducted in 30 sub-Saharan African countries between 2010 and 2017, the percentage of children with a fever that received a diagnostic test in the public health sector has increased, hitting a median of 59% (IQR: 34–75%) over the period 2015– 2017, up from a median of 33% (IQR:18–44%) for 2010–2012.

Data collected from 56 surveys carried out in sub-Saharan Africa reveal that the percentage of febrile children attending public health facilities who received a malaria diagnostic test before antimalarial treatment has gone up from a median of 35% (IQR: 27–56%) in 2010–2012 to 74% (IQR: 51–81%) in 2015–2017. A similar increase has been recorded in the formal private health sector, from 41% (IQR: 17–67%) in 2010–2012 to 63% (IQR: 41–83%) in 2015–2017.

Treating malaria

Based on 19 household surveys conducted in sub-Saharan Africa between 2015 and 2017, the percentage of children aged under 5 years with a fever who received any antimalarial drug was 29% (IQR: 15–48%).

Children are more likely to be given ACTs – the most effective antimalarial drugs – if medical care is sought in the public sector compared with the private sector. Data from 18 national surveys conducted in sub-Saharan Africa show that for the period 2015–2017, an estimated 88% (IQR: 73–92%) of febrile children brought for treatment for malaria in the public health sector received ACTs, compared with 74% (IQR: 47–88%) in the formal medical private sector.

To bridge the treatment gap among children, WHO recommends the uptake of integrated community case management (iCCM). This approach promotes integrated management of common life-threatening conditions in children – malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea – at health facility and community levels. In 2017, of 21 African countries with high malaria burden, 20 had iCCM policies in place, of which 12 had started implementing those policies.

Malaria surveillance systems

Effective surveillance of malaria cases and deaths is essential for identifying the areas or population groups that are most affected by malaria, and for targeting resources for maximum impact. A strong surveillance system requires high levels of access to care and case detection, and complete reporting of health information by all sectors, whether public or private.

In 2017, among 52 moderate to high-burden countries, reporting rates of malaria were 60% or more. In the WHO African Region, 36 out of 46 countries indicated that at least 80% of public health facilities had reported data on malaria through their national health information system.

Malaria elimination

Globally, the elimination net is widening, with more countries moving towards zero indigenous cases: in 2017, 46 countries reported fewer than 10 000 such cases, up from 44 countries in 2016 and 37 countries 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 24 countries in 2016 and 26 countries in 2017.

Paraguay was certified by WHO as malaria free in 2018, while Algeria, Argentina and Uzbekistan have made formal requests to WHO for certification. In 2017, China and El Salvador reported zero indigenous cases.

One of the key GTS milestones for 2020 is elimination of malaria in at least 10 countries that were malaria endemic in 2015. At the current rate of progress, it is likely that this milestone will be reached.

In 2016, WHO identified 21 countries with the potential to eliminate malaria by the year 2020. WHO is working with the governments in these countries – known as “E-2020 countries” – to support their elimination acceleration goals.

Although 11 E-2020 countries remain on track to achieve their elimination goals, 10 have reported increases in indigenous malaria cases in 2017 compared with 2016.

Challenges in getting the malaria response back on track

The challenges facing the global malaria response are many, and as highlighted in this year’s report, immediate barriers to achieving the fast-approaching GTS milestones for 2020 and 2025 are malaria’s continued rise in countries with the highest burden of the disease and inadequate international and domestic funding. At the same time, the continued emergence of parasite resistance to antimalarial medicines and mosquito resistance to insecticides pose threats to progress.

High-burden countries

In 2017, 11 countries accounted for approximately 70% of estimated malaria cases and deaths globally: 10 in sub-Saharan Africa and India. Among these countries, only India reported progress in reducing its malaria cases in 2017 compared to 2016.

To get the global malaria response back on track, a new country-driven approach – “High burden to high impact” – will be launched in Mozambique on 19 November 2018, alongside the release of the World malaria report 2018.

Catalyzed by WHO and the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, the approach is founded upon 4 pillars: galvanize national and global political attention to reduce malaria deaths; drive impact in country through the strategic use of information; establish best global guidance, policies and strategies suitable for all malaria endemic countries; and implement a coordinated country response.


In 24 out of 41 high-burden countries, which rely mainly on external funding for malaria programmes, the average level of funding available per person at risk declined in 2015–2017 compared to 2012–2014. This ranged from a 95% reduction in the Congo (highest) to a 1% decrease in Uganda (lowest) over the time points compared.

In the countries that experienced a 20% or more decrease in total funding per person at risk, international financing declined, at times combined with lower domestic investments.

Among the 41 high-burden countries, overall, funding per person at risk of malaria stood at US$ 2.32.

Drug resistance

ACTs have been integral to the recent success of global malaria control, and protecting their efficacy for the treatment of malaria is a global health priority.

Most studies conducted between 2010 and 2017 show that ACTs remain effective, with overall efficacy rates greater than 95% outside the Greater Mekong subregion (GMS). In Africa, artemisinin (partial) resistance has not been reported to date.

Although multidrug resistance, including artemisinin (partial) resistance and partner drug resistance, has been reported in 4 GMS countries, there has been a massive reduction in malaria cases and deaths in this subregion. Monitoring the efficacy of antimalarial drugs has resulted in prompt updating of malaria treatment policies in most GMS countries.

Insecticide resistance

The recently released WHO Global report on insecticide resistance in malaria vectors: 2010– 2016 showed that resistance to the four commonly used insecticide classes – pyrethroids, organochlorines, carbamates and organophosphates – is widespread in all major malaria vectors across the WHO regions of Africa, the Americas, South-East Asia, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Western Pacific.

Of the 80 malaria endemic countries that provided data for 2010–2017, resistance to at least 1 of the 4 insecticide classes in 1 malaria vector from 1 collection site was detected in 68 countries, an increase over 2016 due to improved reporting and 3 new countries reporting on resistance for the first time. In 57 countries, resistance to 2 or more insecticide classes was reported.

Resistance to pyrethroids – the only insecticide class currently used in ITNs – is widespread and was detected in at least 1 malaria vector in more than two thirds of the sites tested and was highest in the WHO regions of Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Resistance to organochlorines was detected for at least 1 malaria vector in almost two thirds of the sites and was highest in the WHO South-East Asia Region. Resistance to carbamates and organophosphates was less prevalent and was detected in 33% and 27% of the tested sites, respectively. Prevalence was highest for carbamates in the WHO South-East Asia Region and for organophosphates in the WHO Western Pacific Region.

In view of the current situation, resistance monitoring and management plans are essential, in line with the WHO Global plan for insecticide resistance management in malaria vectors. To date, 40 countries have completed these plans.

ITNs continue to be an effective tool for malaria prevention, even in areas where mosquitoes have developed resistance to pyrethroids. This was evidenced in a large multicountry evaluation coordinated by WHO between 2011 and 2016 across study locations in 5 countries.


Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, the WHO’s director-general: “Nobody should die from malaria.”


  • Last year, about 70% of malaria cases and deaths were concentrated in 11 countries:  Ten are in Africa (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda, and Tanzania), and the other is India.
  • The 10 African nations had 3.5 million more malaria infections than in 2016
  • India showed progress in reducing its disease burden.
  • Possible reasons for the increase in vulnerable countries:  Major coverage gaps in use of insecticide-treated bed nets and other tools for preventing the mosquito-borne disease.
  • WHO estimated that for 2017, half of Africa’s at-risk populations did not sleep under a treated bed net.  Fewer homes in the region were protected by indoor residual spraying and that use of therapies for protecting pregnant women and children from malaria was still too low.
  • Funding for the global response has leveled off. For 2017, there was $3.1 billion for malaria control and elimination programs, 28% of it from the governments of malaria-endemic countries.
  • The United States was still the single largest international donor, contributing $1.2 billion (39%) toward malaria efforts in 2017.
  • At least $6.6 billion annually by 2020 is needed, which the WHO said is more than double the amount currently available.

Glimmers of progress elsewhere

  • More countries are nearing malaria elimination. There were 46 in 2017, compared with 37 in 2010.
  • China and El Salvador, two malaria-endemic countries, reported no local transmission in 2017
  • This year, the WHO certified Paraguay as malaria-free, the first Americas country to achieve the status in 45 years.
  • The WHO said three other countries have requested WHO malaria-free certification: Algeria, Argentina, and Uzbekistan.
  • India reported a 24% reduction in cases for 2017 compared with the previous year.
  • Other nations reporting declines in cases last year included Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Pakistan.


Is this the end of malaria???????


“…..In 2016 the disease, which is caused by a parasite and transmitted by mosquitoes, infected 194 million people in Africa and caused 445,000 deaths.

But biologists now have developed a way of manipulating mosquito genetics that forces whole populations of the insect to self-destruct. The technique has proved so successful in laboratory tests that its authors envisage malaria could be eliminated from large regions of Africa within two decades…..”


The malaria parasite life cycle involves two hosts. During a blood meal, a malaria-infected female Anopheles mosquito inoculates sporozoites into the human host . Sporozoites infect liver cells and mature into schizonts, which rupture and release merozoites . (Of note, in P. vivax and P. ovale a dormant stage [hypnozoites] can persist in the liver and cause relapses by invading the bloodstream weeks, or even years later.) After this initial replication in the liver (exo-erythrocytic schizogony ), the parasites undergo asexual multiplication in the erythrocytes (erythrocytic schizogony ). Merozoites infect red blood cells . The ring stage trophozoites mature into schizonts, which rupture releasing merozoites . Some parasites differentiate into sexual erythrocytic stages (gametocytes) . Blood stage parasites are responsible for the clinical manifestations of the disease. The gametocytes, male (microgametocytes) and female (macrogametocytes), are ingested by an Anopheles mosquito during a blood meal . The parasites’ multiplication in the mosquito is known as the sporogonic cycle . While in the mosquito’s stomach, the microgametes penetrate the macrogametes generating zygotes . The zygotes in turn become motile and elongated (ookinetes) which invade the midgut wall of the mosquito where they develop into oocysts . The oocysts grow, rupture, and release sporozoites, which make their way to the mosquito’s salivary glands. Inoculation of the sporozoites into a new human host perpetuates the malaria life cycle.


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