In December 2008, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched its World Malaria Report 2008, which measures the severity of malaria prevalence as well as achievements in malaria control up to 2006 and in some cases up to 2007-8. The report notes that "Half of the world’s population is at risk of malaria, and an estimated 250 million cases led to nearly 1 million deaths in 2006".
Nevertheless, there have been promising achievements. Outside Africa, malaria cases have fallen in at least 25 endemic countries in five WHO regions between 2000 and 2006/7, the report says.
The report also measures to what extent countries have been implementing WHO-recommended policies for malaria control, such as providing insecticidal nets free of charge to groups at risk, and finds that countries in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific seem to be more likely to implement these policy recommendations, although to varying extents. Even if reductions in cases and deaths can be linked to specific interventions, WHO underlines that "the links between interventions and trends remain ambiguous, and more careful investigations of the effects of control are needed in most countries."
Regardless of promising achievements, challenges in malaria prevention and treatment remain in people’s accessibility to long-lasting insecticidal nets and antimalarial drugs.
To access the report, click here.