World Malaria Day- Ready to Beat Malaria

The World Malaria Day was established by the World Health Assembly at its 60th session in May 2007 to promote global malaria control. April 25, 2008 was the first World Malaria Day. This year’s World Malaria Day theme is “Ready to beat malaria”. This theme underscores the collective energy and commitment of the global malaria community in uniting around the common goal of a world free of malaria.

Malaria by numbers: global and regional malaria burden

In 2016, there were 216 million cases of malaria in 91 countries, 5 million more than the 211 million cases reported in 2015. This marks a return to 2012 levels. Malaria continues to claim a significant number of lives: in 2016, 445 000 people died from malaria globally, compared to 446 000 estimated deaths in 2015. Children under 5 are particularly susceptible to malaria. The disease claims the life of a child every 2 minutes. Fifteen countries – all but one in sub-Saharan Africa – carry 80% of the global malaria burden.

Malaria by numbers: China

In 2017, there were 2675 cases of malaria cases reported in China, and 0 cases of local cases. This is also the first time reported no local case in China. However, the proportion of imported malaria is increasing year by year. A total of 2672 cases of imported cases were reported in 2017, accounting for 99.9% of the total reported cases (another 3 cases of blood transfusions). The malaria endemic area is continuously diminishing. There were 303 malaria endemic counties in China in 2010, but in 2016, the number of endemic country has been decreased to 9 counties zero endemic country in 2017. By the end of 2017, 20 out of 24 epidemic provinces have completed the assessment of malaria elimination at city and county levels. A total of 2155 endemic counties (99.5% of 2165) have completed the evaluation work and 215 endemic counties (83.3% of 258) have completed the malaria elimination appraisal.

Challenges of the world

·         The global response to malaria is at a crossroads. After an unprecedented period of success in malaria control, progress has stalled.

·         The current pace is insufficient to achieve the 2020 milestones of the WHO Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030 – specifically, targets calling for a 40% reduction in malaria case incidence and death rates.

·         Countries with ongoing transmission are increasingly falling into one of 2 categories: those moving towards elimination and those with a high burden of the disease that have reported significant increases in malaria cases.

Ready to beat malaria

Urgent action is required to get the global fight against malaria back on track. WHO is calling for greater investment and expanded coverage of proven tools that prevent, diagnose and treat malaria. In response to the Global Malaria Elimination Initiative, 13 ministries and commissions, including the former Ministry of Health, jointly issued the “China action plan for the elimination of malaria (2010-2020)” in 2010 and proposed the malaria elimination targets that malaria should be eliminated in most parts of the country by 2015 and nationally by 2020. The current malaria elimination across the country is progressing. By the end of 2017, zero local malaria case has been reported in China. This year, the theme of the 11th national malaria day is “Eliminating Malaria--caution imported case”.