The WHO African Region continues to bear the brunt of the global burden of malaria. In 2012, 80% of the estimated 207 million malaria cases worldwide were in the African Region. In the same year, 90% of the estimated 627 000 global malaria deaths occurred in Africa. 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.

The last decade witnessed unprecedented progress in malaria prevention and control in the African Region. Between the years 2000 and 2012, malaria mortality rates among children under-five years of age declined by 54 %. During the same period, malaria death rates decreased by 49% in the population and by 54% among children under-five years of age. Notwithstanding these gains, much more needs to be done to sustain these gains and accelerate progress towards achieving national and regional malaria targets.