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Podcast: Rising malaria cases and deaths in 2020 attributed to pandemic disruptions

December 8, 2021 - 17:12 -- Johns Hopkins

Podcast #7 | 10 December 2021: Malaria cases rose in 2020, as did death from the disease--by 12%. What caused this? Learn more about these stark findings just published in the 2021 World Malaria Report.


This week, the WHO published its annual World Malaria Report, and the headline figures are stark. There were an estimated 241 million cases of malaria in 2020, up 14 million from the year before. 627,000 of these cases resulted in death, up 12% from the year before. This uptick in death is attributed largely to COVID, with less access to controls and prevention, like bed nets, indoor residual spraying and preventative drug treatment. In the early stages of the pandemic, the WHO warned of a ‘worst case scenario’ for malaria in which deaths could double due to service disruption. Yet, the collaborative effort of countries and partners averted this situation and minimised the disruption. Since 2000, global efforts have reduced malaria death rates by half and saved 10.6 million lives.