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The Disease Burden of Malaria

Jul 26, 2018

According to the latest World Malaria Report, released in November 2017, there were 216 million cases of malaria in 2016, up from 211 million cases in 2015. The estimated number of malaria deaths stood at 445 000 in 2016, a similar number to the previous year (446 000).

The WHO African Region continues to carry a disproportionately high share of the global malaria burden. In 2016, the region was home to 90% of malaria cases and 91% of malaria deaths. Some 15 countries – all in sub-Saharan Africa, except India – accounted for 80% of the global malaria burden.

In areas with high transmission of malaria, children under 5 are particularly susceptible to infection, illness and death; more than two thirds (70%) of all malaria deaths occur in this age group. The number of under-5 malaria deaths has declined from 440 000 in 2010 to 285 000 in 2016. However, malaria remains a major killer of children under five years old, taking the life of a child every two minutes.