Shrinking the Malaria Map

UCSF Global Health Group’s Malaria Elimination Initiative (MEI)


Malaysia reported 1,876 cases of local malaria transmission in 2015 and aims to eliminate malaria by 2020.

Malaysia achieved an 82% decrease in reported malaria cases between 2000 and 2015, from 10,703 cases to 1,876 cases. Intensive control efforts have reduced the incidence of Plasmodium vivax and P. falciparum; in 2015, P. knowlesi accounted for the majority of local cases in Malaysia. P. malariae is also present and causes a small number of infections.

About one-third of total malaria cases occur in Peninsular Malaysia, and the majority of these are found in the central, southeastern, and northern coastal regions. The remaining cases are found in Malaysian Borneo, primarily the states of Sabah and Sarawak.

Young working males are the most at-risk population, and about half of Malaysians diagnosed with malaria reportedly work in agriculture and other outdoor labor. Other high-risk populations include indigenous groups, jungle workers, and immigrants from endemic countries. Malaysia has a large number of imported malaria cases, primarily from Indonesian and Filipino workers seeking employment in Malaysia’s growing economy.

Current successful practices of the malaria control program in Malaysia include 100% confirmatory testing of all suspected malaria cases, mandatory reporting of detected cases, integrated vector management, strong community participation in control activities, and a cadre of volunteer primary health care workers selected by the community and trained in malaria diagnosis and treatment. Malaysia is a country partner of the Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network (APMEN).

1,876 # of cases (2015)
Elimination goal
Upper middle
Income level
Reported cases
Reported cases
P falciparum transmission limit (2010)
P falciparum transmission limit (2010)
P vivax transmission limit (2010)
P vivax transmission limit (2010)

Challenges to elimination