World Malaria Report 2017

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The WHO estimates that the world saw 216 million cases of malaria in 2016, according to Abdisalan Noor, PhD, of the Kenya Medical Research Institute in Nairobi and senior author of the report. Alonso worries that governments and donors have become complacent about malaria, given that deaths from the disease fell by an estimated 62 percent between 2000 and 2015.

It also accounts for highest number of malaria deaths (331) in the southeast Asia region and less only to countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

"We are at a crossroads in the response to malaria", said Dr. Pedro Alonso, director of the Global Malaria Program.

"... The WHO director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, warned of a "troubling shift" in the downward trajectory of malaria, one of the biggest killers in poorer countries, and until recently, one of the greatest public health success stories".

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For the second year in a row, the WHO European Region did not see any malaria cases. "Without urgent action, we risk going backwards, and missing the global malaria targets for 2020 and beyond", he said.

The WHO Global Technical Strategy for Malaria calls for reductions of at least 40% in malaria case incidence and mortality rates by the year 2020. Malaria mortality rates decreased by 2,000 during the same period.

A major problem is insufficient funding at both domestic and global levels, resulting in major gaps in coverage of insecticide-treated nets, medicines, and other life-saving tools, it said.

"Countries with weak malaria surveillance systems include India and Nigeria, two major contributors to the global burden of malaria, with 8 per cent and 16 per cent of cases, respectively, detected by the surveillance system", the report stated.

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A minimum investment of US$ 6.5 billion will be required annually by 2020 in order to meet the 2030 targets of the World Health Organization global malaria strategy. According to WHO's latest malaria report, the world is not on track to reach these critical milestones. "The United States of America was the largest worldwide funder of malaria control programmes in 2016, providing US$1 billion (38% of all malaria funding), followed by other major donors, including the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, France, Germany and Japan", the global health agency stated. "As African leaders, we must use the release of the World Malaria Report 2017 to energise our collective effort in the fight against one of our continent's most devastating diseases".

Giving demographic details about the mosquito-borne disease, he said, "The majority of malaria cases in the country come from the bordering districts, forest and tribal areas, while most of the remaining parts of the country remain malaria free", he said.

Prompt diagnosis and treatment is the most effective means of preventing a mild case of malaria from developing into severe disease and death.

In 2013, WHO set up a voluntary global monitoring system for substandard and fake drugs and has received reports of about 1,500 problematic medicines including drugs that claim to treat heart problems, diabetes, fertility problems, mental health issues and cancer.

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