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Key facts about malaria

241 Million Global Cases

The World Health Organization (WHO) African Region accounts for about 94% of cases.

Population at Risk

Half of the world population is at risk from malaria.

627,000 Deaths

About 96% of malaria deaths globally are in 31 countries.

85 Countries & Territories

...reported indigenous malaria cases in 2010. Twenty-nine countries account for 95% of malaria cases globally.

Progress

  • Globally, there were an estimated 241 million malaria cases in 2020 in 85 malaria-endemic countries.

  • In the period 2000–2020, an estimated 1.7 billion malaria cases and 10.6 million malaria deaths have been averted.

  • Malaria case incidence (i.e. cases per 1000 population at risk) reduced from 80.1 in 2000 to 59 in 2020 globally.

  • From 2000 to 2020, the number of countries with fewer than 100 indigenous cases increased from 6 to 26.

Required Health Expenditure

  • Between 2007 and 2018, almost US$ 7.3 billion was invested in basic research and product development for malaria.

  • The malaria R&D funding landscape has been led by investment in:
    • Drugs (US$ 2.6 billion, 36% of malaria funding between 2007 and 2018)

    • Basic research (US$ 1.9 billion, 26%)

    • Vaccines R&D (US$ 1.8 billion, 25%)

    • Vector control products (US$ 453 million, 6.2%)

    • Vector control diagnostic (US$ 185 million, 2.5%)

  • Over the period 2010–2020, international sources provided 69% of the total funding for malaria control and elimination, led by the United States of America (USA), the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK), and France.
  • Total funding for malaria control and elimination in 2020 was estimated at US$ 3.3 billion, compared with US$ 3.0 billion in 2019 and US$ 2.7 billion in 2018. The amount invested in 2020 falls short of the US$ 6.8 billion estimated to be required, leaving a funding gap of at least US$ 3.5 billion.

  • Of the US$ 3.3 billion invested in 2020, more than US$ 2.2 billion came from international funders. The highest contributions in 2020 were from the USA, which provided a total of US$ 1.3 billion, followed by Germany and the UK with about US$ 0.2 billion each, and then US$ 0.1 billion from France and Japan. Of the US$ 3.3 billion invested in 2020, nearly US$ 1.4 billion (42%) was channelled through the Global Fund – an increase of about US$ 0.2 billion since 2019.

Current Level of Coverage

  • Globally, 3.1 billion rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for malaria were sold by manufacturers in 2010–2020, with nearly 81% of these sales being to sub-Saharan African countries. In the same period, national malaria programmes (NMPs) distributed 2.2 billion RDTs – 88% in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • National data reported by NMPs show that, in the same period, 2.1 billion artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) were delivered to health service providers to treat malaria patients in the public health sector.

  • Manufacturers’ delivery data for 2004–2020 show that almost 2.3 billion insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs) were supplied globally in that period, of which 2 billion (86%) were supplied to sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Manufacturers delivered about 229 million ITNs to malaria endemic countries in 2020. About 91% of these ITNs were delivered to countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

  • By 2020, 65% of households in sub-Saharan Africa had at least one ITN, increasing from about 5% in 2000. Subsequently, the percentage of the population sleeping under an ITN also increased considerably between 2000 and 2020, for the whole population (from 2% to 43%), for children aged under 5 years (from 3% to 49%) and for pregnant women (from 3% to 49%).
  • The number of children reached with at least one dose of seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) steadily increased, from about 0.2 million in 2012 to about 33.5 million in 2020.

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