Child malaria cut in half

2013-12 WHO Malaria ReportThe good news: In its 2013 Malaria Report, WHO reports that “Worldwide, between 2000 and 2012, estimated malaria mortality rates fell by 45% in all age groups and by 51% in children under 5 years of age. If the annual rate of decrease that has occurred over the past 12 years is maintained, then malaria mortality rates are projected to decrease by 56% in all ages, and by 63% in children under 5 years of age by 2015; this represents substantial progress towards the World Health Assembly target of reducing malaria mortality rates by 75% by 2015.”

The bad news: Progress has slowed and funding has been cut. In covering the release of the report, The Guardian states: “In sub-Saharan Africa, less than 50% of the population had access to a bednet this year. In 2012, only 70m new bednets were delivered to malaria-endemic countries, well below the 150m needed every year. The WHO remains optimistic that delivery levels will increase this year and next.”

The report includes one-page data summaries on each affected country. Most THP program countries other than Bangladesh and Peru are NOT on track to make the goal of reducing malaria by 75% from 2000 to 2015. The WHO language is usually “Insufficiently consistent data to assess trends” yet in many cases the data are showing increases.

Here is a highlight for each THP program country. Mexico is not considered a country with malaria.

1) Bangladesh has high risk population only in its eastern districts, where net coverage is now near 100%. Malaria deaths dropped dramatically from 2011 to 2012, from 0.4 to 0.1 cases per 1000. On track for 75% decrease by 2015.

2) Benin: malaria admissions and deaths on the rise.

3) Burkina: cases rose dramatically in 2012.

4) Ethiopia: cases steading increasing, deaths increasing slightly.

5) Ghana: cases have increased, deaths have declined slightly.

6) India: Cases have been slowly declining since 2006, not on track for 75% reduction goal by 2015.

7) Malawi: Cases and deaths show decline, but cannot predict making the goal.

8) Mozambique: Cases and deaths show decline, but cannot predict making the goal.

9) Peru: On track for 75% decrease by 2015.

10) Senegal: Cases have risen significantly since 2006

11) Uganda: Cases appear fairly flat.

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