Malaria, caused by a parasite spread by certain types of mosquitoes, is among the deadliest diseases in human history. In 2018, there were 228 million cases and 405,000 deaths from malaria, with Africa accounting for 94% of all deaths. Pregnant women and children under age 5 are most at risk, because of their weaker immune systems. In 2018, children under 5 accounted for 67% of all malaria deaths worldwide.
Malaria is present in more than 80 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 2018 – a reduction from the US$3.2 billion invested in 2017, and well short of the US$5 billion estimated to be required globally to stay on track toward agreed milestones.