The parasite has been killing children, injuring children, and sapping the strength of whole populations for tens of thousands of years. It’s really hard both in terms of deaths or morbidity is impossible to calculate the harm malaria has done to us. Now, we can chart a course to end it.
Bill Gates (2011)
The term ‘malaria’ comes from the medieval Italian ‘mala aria’ meaning ‘bad air’. The term was coined at a time before the mosquito had been identified as the carrier of the parasite.
According to the WHO, globally, an estimated 3.4 billion people in 91 countries and territories are at risk of being infected with malaria and developing disease, and 1.1 billion are at high risk (>1 in 1000 chance of getting malaria in a year). The burden was heaviest in the WHO African Region, where an estimated 92% of all malaria deaths occurred, and in children aged under 5 years, who accounted for more than two thirds of all deaths. The WHO’s 2017 report also shows that after an unprecedented period of success in global malaria control, progress has stalled. In 2016, there were an estimated 216 million cases of malaria, an increase of about 5 million cases over 2015. Deaths reached 445 000, a similar number to the previous year.