About Malaria » Key Facts

Key Facts

216 Million Global Cases

(95% confidence interval [CI]: 196 – 263 million).

Population at Risk

Half of the world population is at risk from malaria.

445,000 Deaths

91% of all malaria deaths occurred in the WHO African Region.

91 Countries & Territories

...reported indigenous malaria cases in 2016.


  • Globally, more countries are moving towards elimination: in 2016, 44 countries reported fewer than 10 000 malaria cases, up from 37 countries in 2010.
  • Kyrgyzstan and Sri Lanka were certified by WHO as malaria free in 2016.
  • In 2016, WHO identified 21 countries with the potential to eliminate malaria by the year 2020.
  • WHO is working with the governments of these countries – known as “E-2020 countries” to support their elimination acceleration goals.
  • Although some of E-2020 countries remain on track to achieve their elimination goals, 11 have reported increases in indigenous malaria cases since 2015, and five countries reported an increase of more than 100 cases in 2016 compared with 2015.

Required Health Expenditure

  • Although funding for malaria has remained relatively stable since 2010, the level of investment in 2016 is far from what is required to reach the first milestone of the GTS, which is a reduction of at least 40% in malaria case incidence and mortality rates globally when compared to 2015 levels.
  • To reach this milestone, the GTS estimated that annual funding would need to increase to US$ 6.5 billion per year by 2020. The US$ 2.7 billion invested in malaria in 2016 represents less than half (41%) of that amount.
  • Stepping up investments in malaria research and development is key to achieving the GTS targets. In 2015, US$ 572 million was spent in this area, representing 83% of the estimated annual need for research and development.


Economic Cost

Malaria costs Africa’s economy US$ 12 billion per year in direct losses, and 1.3% of lost annual GDP growth.

Current Level of Coverage

Insecticide-treated mosquito nets: Between 2014 and 2016, a total of 582 million insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs) were reported by manufacturers as having been delivered globally.
Of this amount, 505 million ITNs were delivered in sub-Saharan Africa, compared with 301 million bednets in the preceding 3-year period (2011–2013).
Data from national malaria control programmes (NMCPs) in Africa indicate that, between 2014 and 2016, 75% of ITNs were distributed through mass distribution campaigns.
Rapid diagnostic tests: An estimated 312 million rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) were delivered globally in 2016. Of these, 269 million were delivered in the WHO African Region.
The number of RDTs distributed by NMCPs increased between 2010 and 2015, but fell from 247 million in 2015 to 221 million in 2016. The decrease was entirely in sub-Saharan Africa, where distributions dropped from 219 million to 177 million RDTs over the 2015–2016 period.
Artemisinin-based combination therapy: An estimated 409 million treatment courses of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) were procured by countries in 2016, an increase from 311 million in 2015. Over 69% of these procurements were reported to have been made for the public sector.
The number of ACT treatments distributed by NMCPs to the public sector increased from 192 million in 2013 to 198 million in 2016. Most of the NMCP distributions of ACTs (99%) in 2016 occurred in the WHO African Region.