Shrinking the Malaria Map

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

WHO/UNICEF report: Malaria MDG target has been achieved

24 September 2015

This year, the Millennium Development Goals 2000-2015 (MDGs) will come to a close, and the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2015-2030 will begin. A new WHO/UNICEF joint report, “Achieving the malaria MDG target,” shows that the MDG target for malaria – to have halted and begun to reverse incidence of malaria - was achieved convincingly, with a 37% drop in malaria cases and a 60% decline in deaths over the last 15 years.

Despite this historical progress, malaria remains a public health threat in many regions. In 2015, there was an estimated 214 million new cases of malaria and approximately 3.2 billion people around the world are still at risk.

The report was launched at the House of Commons in London, and Dr. Richard Kamwi, the former Minister of Health of Namibia and Ambassador of the Elimination 8 in southern Africa, provided remarks: “The biggest mistake we can make now is to pat ourselves on the back, and believe that we have won the war, simply because we have won some of the battles. The war is not won until we achieve a malaria-free world.”

Moving forward, global malaria policies such as the WHO Global Technical Strategy for Malaria and the Roll Back Malaria Action and Investment to defeat Malaria will provide the strategies and resource mobilization guidance necessary to reach a new goal of 90% reduction of global malaria incidence by 2030. However, the WHO/UNICEF report warns that this target can only be met with increased political will and financing. Annual funding for malaria will need to triple – from US$ 2.7 billion today to US$ 8.7 billion in 2030.