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#WorldMalariaDay: 21% drop in global cases

According to the World Malaria Report 2016, the rate of new malaria cases fell by 21% globally between 2010 and 2015. Malaria death rates fell by 29% in the same five-year period. In sub-Saharan Africa, case incidence and death rates fell by 21% and 31%, respectively.

Other regions have made substantial gains in their malaria responses, but the disease remains a major public health threat. In 2015, the global tally of malaria reached 429,000 malaria deaths and 212 million new cases. One child died from malaria every two minutes.

"Any death from malaria – a preventable and treatable disease – is simply unacceptable," said Dr Pedro Alonso, director of WHO’s Global Malaria Programme. "Today we are urging countries and partners to accelerate the pace of action, especially in low-income countries with a high malaria burden."

Ninety-one countries reported ongoing malaria transmission in 2015; all are working to reduce their malaria burden through the deployment and use of WHO-recommended preventive, diagnostic and treatment tools.

Global technical strategy 2016-2030

In May 2015, the World Health Assembly approved WHO’s Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016–2030, a 15-year blueprint for all countries working to control and eliminate malaria. The strategy set ambitious targets for 2030, including reducing malaria case incidence and death rates by at least 90%, eliminating malaria in at least 35 countries, and preventing the reintroduction of malaria in all countries that are malaria free.

Interim 2020 targets call for 40% reductions in malaria case incidence and death rates and for the elimination of malaria in at least 10 countries. Less than half of the world’s 91 countries with malaria transmission are on track to achieve these interim targets for case incidence and mortality reductions.

However, prospects for achieving the 2020 elimination target are bright: WHO’s Eliminating Malariareport, published in 2016, identified 21 countries with the potential to achieve at least one year of zero indigenous cases of malaria by 2020.

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