In the lead-up to this year’s World Malaria Day, countries across the globe are in the throes of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. While cases of the novel coronavirus in malaria-affected countries currently represent only a small proportion of the global total, the situation is evolving rapidly. WHO underlines the critical importance of sustaining efforts to prevent, detect and treat malaria, using best practices to protect health workers and communities from COVID-19 infection.
Zero malaria starts with me
On World Malaria Day 2020, WHO joins the RBM Partnership to End Malaria in promoting “Zero malaria starts with me”, a grassroots campaign that aims to keep malaria high on the political agenda, mobilize additional resources, and empower communities to take ownership of malaria prevention and care.
We know that through country leadership and collective action, we can radically reduce suffering and death from malaria. Between 2000 and 2014, the number of malaria-related deaths fell by 40% worldwide, from an estimated 743 000 to 446 000.
But in recent years, progress has ground to a standstill. According to WHO's World malaria report 2019, there were no global gains in reducing new infections over the period 2014 to 2018. And nearly as many people died from malaria in 2018 as the year before.
Urgent action is needed to get back on track, and ownership of the challenge lies in the hands of countries most affected by malaria. The “Zero malaria” campaign engages all members of society: political leaders who control government policy decisions and budgets; private sector companies that will benefit from a malaria-free workforce; and communities affected by malaria, whose buy-in and ownership of malaria control interventions is critical to success. Join us in our shared effort to get to zero malaria.