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World Malaria Report, 2019

  • Category
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    18th Dec, 2019
  • Despite a dip in cases, India still one of the worst-hit countries
  • While Africa and India saw the maximum dip in malaria cases between 2017 and 2018, they still accounted for 85 per cent deaths.


  • Despite a dip in cases, India still one of the worst-hit countries
  • While Africa and India saw the maximum dip in malaria cases between 2017 and 2018, they still accounted for 85 per cent deaths.


About the Report-

  • The World malaria report 2019provides a comprehensive update on global and regional malaria data and trends.
  • The report tracks investments in malaria programmes and research as well as progress across all intervention areas: prevention, diagnosis, treatment, elimination and surveillance.
  • It also includes dedicated chapters on the consequences of malaria on maternal, infant and child health, the “High Burden to High Impact” approach as well as biological threats to the fight against malaria.
  • The 2019 report is based on information received from more than 80 countries and areas with ongoing malaria transmission. 

Findings in the report-

  • Nineteen countries in sub-Saharan Africa and India accounted for 85 per cent of the global malaria burden in 2018. Globally 228 million malaria cases were reported in 2018, which is marginally lower than the number of cases in 2017 (231 million), as per the World Malaria Report 2019 released by the World Health Organization.
  • India registered a fall of 2.6 million malarial cases in 2018 as compared to previous year. The country also has one of the lowest funding per person at risk of being inflicted with malaria at just US$0.2. 
  • Despite being the highest burden country in the South-East Asia region, India showed a reduction in reported cases of 51 per cent compared to 2017 and of 60 per cent compared to 2016.
  • Although cases continue to decrease in the public sector, estimates indicate that there are still gaps in reporting from the private sector and those seeking treatment in India, as in Myanmar and Indonesia. The estimated burden of malaria, the WHO report says is 6.7 million while only 4 million cases were reported in 2018.
  • India, Indonesia and Myanmar accounted for 58 per cent, 21 per cent and 12 per cent of the total reported deaths in the region, respectively.

Major Challenges-

  • In the South-East Asia region, the major challenges remain decreased funding, treatment failures and vector resistance to pyrethroids, the insecticides used against the vectors.
  • The biggest region of concern for the WHO is the African region as it contributes 93 per cent cases to the global burden.  This region also accounted for 94 per cent of all malarial deaths. 
  • Malaria is mostly caused by Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax parasites mainly. India accounted for a little less than half (47 per cent) of malaria caused by P vivax. Globally P. vivax, caused 7.5 million malarial cases. More than half (53 per cent) were found to be in South-East Asia.

Way Ahead-

  • WHO says more and more countries are on the verge of eliminating malaria. As many as 49 countries reported fewer than 10 000 such cases, up from 46 countries in 2017 and 40 countries in 2010.
  • The number of countries with fewer than 100 indigenous cases­-a strong indicator that elimination is within reach-increased from 17 countries in 2010 to 27 countries in 2018.
  • South Africa had reported a five-fold increase in the number of malaria between 2016 and 2017. In 2018, the cases declined by 57 per cent. There are multiple reasons for the increase in cases: improved diagnosis and reporting, inadequate vector control and climatic factors (in African region).

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