Malaria, caused by a parasite spread by certain types of mosquitoes, is among the deadliest diseases in human history. In 2016, there were 216 million cases and 445,000 deaths from malaria, with about 90 percent of these occurring in sub-Saharan Africa. Pregnant women and children under age 5 are most at risk, because of their weaker immune systems.
Malaria is present in 91 countries, and these increasingly fall into one of two categories: those progressing toward elimination and those with a high burden of malaria that are experiencing setbacks in their responses.
This progress toward elimination underscores the fact that we have effective tools and strategies to halt malaria. The issue is investment. An estimated US$2.7 billion was invested in malaria control and elimination efforts globally in 2016 – less than half the 2020 funding target.