The 2020 edition of the World malaria report takes a historical look at key milestones that helped shape the global response to the disease over the last 2 decades – a period of unprecedented success in malaria control. The report features a detailed analysis on progress towards the 2020 milestones of WHO’s global malaria strategy and a special section on malaria and the COVID-19 pandemic.
As in past years, the report provides an up-to-date assessment of the burden of malaria at global, regional and country levels. It tracks investments in malaria programmes and research as well as progress across all intervention areas. This latest report draws on data from 87 countries and territories with ongoing malaria transmission.
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- This year WHO is publishing a special edition of the World malaria report that highlights a period of unprecedented success in global malaria control. Beginning in the 1990s, the world laid the foundation for a renewed malaria response that contributed to 1.5 billion cases and 7.6 million deaths averted over the past two decades.
- Despite remarkable progress, the global gains in combatting malaria have levelled off in recent years, and many high burden countries have been losing ground. In 2017, WHO warned that the fight against malaria had reached a crossroads. The “High burden to high impact” response, launched in 2018, aims to reignite progress.
- Insufficient funding – at both the international and domestic levels – poses a significant threat to future progress. Funding gaps have resulted in gaps in access to proven, WHO-recommended malaria control tools.
- In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic emerged as a serious additional challenge to malaria responses worldwide.
- In the current context, an effective use of limited resources will be critical to achieving a measurable impact against malaria. Local data and intelligence are vital to inform locally tailored solutions.
- Progress can also be accelerated through robust political leadership, strengthened malaria surveillance, equity in access to quality health services, and stepped-up investment in research and innovation.