The WHO African Region continues to bear the brunt of the global burden of malaria. In 2013, an estimated 163 million cases of malaria occurred in the African Region. This caused approximately 528 000 deaths. Between 2000 and 2013, the estimated number of malaria cases in the at risk population declined by 34% while malaria death rates declined by 54% in the African Region.
This reduction is due to improved availability and use of insecticide-treated nets, diagnosis-based treatment with artemisinin-based combination therapy, engagement of communities in malaria control, and strengthening capacity in vector control for malaria.
Malaria continues to have a severe socioeconomic impact on our populations. It is one of the causes of household poverty because it results in absenteeism from the
daily activities of productive living and income generation. Malaria also continues to prevent many school children from attending school due to illness, diminishing their capacity to realise their full potential.
A child dies every minute from malaria in Africa where it is estimated that 9 out of 10 malaria deaths occur. In 2013, there were 528 000 deaths from malaria and about 78% of these were in children under 5 years of age.
Malaria is transmitted via the bites of infective mosquitoes, but unknown to many, it can also be spread to children during pregnancy as well as before and/or during childbirth. Malaria contracted at this time is called congenital malaria and is a cause of infant death and low birth weight.