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World Malaria Report 2009

World Malaria Report 2009

The World Malaria Report 2009 summarizes information received from 108 malaria-endemic countries and other sources and focuses on recent progress in malaria control globally.

Since 2006, the funds committed to malaria have increased sharply, from US$ 730 million in 2006 to US$ 1.7 billion in 2009. This has boosted scale-up of malaria control interventions, resulting in decreased malaria burden. The recent jump in funding is large, but to scale up malaria efforts worldwide, a far larger amount is required—an estimated US$ 5 billion annually.

Highlights of the WHO Report

A baby sleeping under an ITN.

A baby sleeping under an ITN.

  • In 2008, approximately 3 in 10 African households (31%) owned at least one insecticide-treated bed net (ITN) and more children under 5 years slept under an ITN (24%) than in previous years. More than half of the households in 13 of the 35 highest burden African countries owned ITNs.
  • Although use of the most effective antimalarial treatments—artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs)—is increasing, it is still very low in most African countries. Fewer than 15% of children under 5 years with fever had received an ACT.
  • Of countries with high ITN coverage and malaria treatment programs, cases and deaths have fallen by about 50%. These countries include Eritrea, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zanzibar, and Zambia.
  • Large decreases in malaria cases and deaths parallel sharp drops in all-cause deaths among children under 5 years, which suggests that high coverage with effective malaria interventions could help countries reach the Millennium Development Goal of two-thirds reduction in child mortality by 2015.
Parasites resistant to the latest and best first-line antimalarial drugs would make treatment difficult, if not impossible. Courtesy: DPDx

Parasites resistant to the latest and best first-line antimalarial drugs would make treatment difficult, if not impossible. Courtesy: DPDx

  • Malaria parasite resistance to antimalarial drugs is a threat, and there is early evidence of resistance to artemisinins in southeast Asia along the Thailand Cambodia border.
  • Funds for malaria control have been disproportionately going to smaller countries with lower disease burdens. Countries with the most malaria cases and deaths need more attention. This requires not only money but efforts to strengthen health systems.
  • The Global Malaria Action Plan needs to be funded.
WHO Director Is Encouraged by Findings

According to the WHO Director-General, Dr. Margaret Chan, "While much remains to be done, the data presented here clearly suggest that the tremendous increase in funding for malaria control is resulting in the rapid scale up of today’s control tools. This, in turn, is having a profound effect on health – especially the health of children in sub-Saharan Africa. In a nutshell, development aid for health is working."

More on: The World Malaria Report 2009

More on: WHO Global Malaria Programme’s Report database