After more than a decade of steady advances in fighting malaria, progress has levelled off. According to WHO’s latest World malaria report, no significant gains were made in reducing malaria cases in the period 2015 to 2017. The estimated number of malaria deaths in 2017, at 435 000, remained virtually unchanged over the previous year.
The WHO African Region continues to shoulder more than 90% of the global malaria burden. and in the 10 African countries hardest hit by malaria, there were an estimated 3.5 million more cases of the disease in 2017 over the previous year.
On 25 April – World Malaria Day 2019, WHO joins the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, the African Union Commission and other partner organizations 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.
The “Zero malaria” campaign – first launched in Senegal in 2014 – was officially endorsed at the African Union Summit by all African Heads of State in July 2018. It 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.
Click here to find out more about the day and the campaign.