The WHO African Region continues to bear the brunt of the global burden of malaria. In 2015, 88% of global cases and 90% of global deaths occured in the African Region. Between 2000 and 2015, the number of malaria cases declined by 42% while the malaria death rate declined by 66% 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.
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.