Malaria facts & figures

Children in Uganda

Each year, the World Health Organization's World Malaria Report assesses global and regional malaria trends, highlights progress towards global targets, and describes opportunities and challenges in controlling and eliminating the disease. Below are some of the highlights from the most recent report.

  • Malaria can kill within 24 hours of symptom onset.1
  • Globally, there were an estimated 241 million malaria cases in 2020 in 85 malaria endemic countries (including the territory of French Guiana), increasing from 227 million in 2019, with most of this increase coming from countries in the WHO African Region2
  • In 2020, malaria deaths increased by 12% compared with 2019, to an estimated 627 000; an estimated 47 000 (68%) of the additional 69 000 deaths were due to service disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic2
  • There were an estimated 14 million more malaria cases and 47 000 more deaths in 2020 compared to 2019, due to disruptions to services during the pandemic 2
  • Despite the challenges of COVID-19, we’ve also seen positive trends this year. In 2021, WHO  certified two countries – China and El Salvador – as malaria-free, and a further 25 are on track to end malaria transmission by 2025.

1. World Health Organization - malaria fact sheets

2. 2021 World Malaria Report