WHO reports a ‘dramatic decline’ in malaria burden since 2000

MMV welcomes WHO’s World Malaria Report 2015

09 Dec 2015

In its just-released World Malaria Report 2015, the World Health Organization reveals there has been an overall 66% reduction in malaria mortality since 2000, with the rate in African children under 5 having fallen by 71%. As a result of concerted global efforts 6.2 million lives have been saved.

The report’s launch comes at a turning point – the end of the Millenium Development Goals and the beginning of the Sustainable Development Goals. “Against this backdrop, our report tracks a dramatic decline in the global malaria burden over 15 years,” stated Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization. “Target 6C of 2000 Millennium Development Goals called for halting and beginning to reverse the global incidence of malaria by 2015. The report shows — unquestionably — that this target has been achieved.”

This impressive progress is thanks to global efforts to improve coverage of key interventions including bed nets, insecticides, diagnostics and medicines. For example, the proportion of children now receiving an artemisinin combination therapy – WHO recommended first-line treatment for malaria – has increased 16-fold since 2005 from 1% to 16%. Nevertheless, much work remains to be done. In this example alone, the rise to 16% falls substantially short of the Global Malaria Action Plan target of universal access for malaria case management. 

“MMV welcomes WHO’s World Malaria Report 2015 and in particular the heartening account in its pages of significant strides made against child mortality since 2000,” said David Reddy, MMV’s CEO. “It’s clear that global investment in malaria control is paying dividends in terms of young lives saved. The malaria community and its dedicated supporters must be applauded for this massive achievement. Nevertheless, the disease remains a major killer, taking the life of a child every 2 minutes. With threats such as drug resistance biting at our heels, we are at a critical moment. With our partners, MMV will remain committed to developing and delivering new medicines until no child has to suffer from this terrible disease.”