The world is off track in its goal to eliminate malaria. Here’s why.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Progress toward the global elimination of malaria has stalled, according to a report to be published Wednesday by the World Health Organization.

The world made big gains against malaria from 2000 to 2015, with annual infections falling 18% and annual deaths dropping 48%. The WHO was so encouraged by the declines that in 2015 it announced a goal of cutting malaria infections and deaths worldwide by at least 40% by 2020.

But in the last three years, many nations have reported significant increases in malaria cases, according to the new report.

“We are not seeing the progress that had been achieved in the past being sustained,” Pedro Alonso, director of the WHO’s Global Malaria Program, told reporters in a telephone briefing last week. “Reductions in disease and death have ceased, and we are therefore not on track to meet the 2020 target.”

Reasons for the slowdown differed across specific regions and countries, health officials said. But contributing factors included insufficient funding, a lack of interventions to prevent spread of the disease, risks posed by conflict in malaria endemic zones, irregular climate patterns, and the emergence of parasite resistance, the report said.

Source: Los Angeles Times (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
infectious diseases