The World Health Organization (WHO) World Malaria Report 2021 estimates that there were 241 million malaria cases, including 627,000 deaths, worldwide in 2020, which represents around 14 million more cases, and 69,000 more deaths, than 2019. Approximately two-thirds of these additional deaths were linked to disruptions in the provision of malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sub-Saharan Africa continues to carry the heaviest malaria burden, accounting for about 95% of all cases and 96% of all deaths in 2020, with around 80% of deaths in the region among children under five years old. Since 2015, the baseline date for the WHO’s global malaria strategy, registered increases in malaria deaths were reported in 24 countries. In the 11 countries that carry the highest burden of malaria worldwide, cases increased from 150 million in 2015 to 163 million cases in 2020, and malaria deaths increased from 390,000 to 444,600 over that same period.
As in previous years, the report includes an up-to-date assessment on the burden of malaria at global, regional, and country levels, and tracks investment in malaria programmes and research, as well as detailing progress across the four intervention areas of prevention, diagnosis, treatment and surveillance. There are also dedicated chapters on malaria elimination and key threats, such as insecticide and drug resistance.
Source: WHO, 6 December 2021