WHO releases World Malaria Report 2015 (9 December 2015)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has released the World Malaria Report 2015.

Key Messages:

Globally, the number of malaria cases fell from an estimated 262 million in 2000 (range 205–316 million) to 214 million in 2015 (range 149–303 million).

Globally, the number of malaria deaths fell from an estimated 839 000 in 2000 (range 653 000 to 1.1 million), to 438 000 in 2015 (range 236 000–635 000).

Among children under five, the estimated number of malaria deaths, globally, fell from 723 000 in 2000 (range 563 000–948 000) to 306 000 in 2015 (range 219 000–421 000). The bulk of this decrease occurred in the WHO African Region.

Most malaria cases (88%) and deaths (90%) occurred in the WHO African Region in 2015.

Two countries, Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo, accounted for more than 35% of global malaria deaths in 2015.

The WHO South-East Asia Region accounted for 10% of global malaria cases and 7% of deaths in 2015.

The WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region accounted for 2% of global malaria cases and 2% of deaths in 2015.

In 2014, 16 countries reported zero indigenous cases of malaria: Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Costa Rica, Iraq, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Oman, Paraguay, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan. Seventeen countries are reporting fewer than 1000 cases of malaria.

In 2000, 106 countries had malaria. By 2015

  • 57 (~54%) countries had achieved reduction in new malaria cases of at least 75%
  • 18 countries reduced their malaria cases by 50-75%

Since 2000, malaria mortality rate has declined by

  • 85% in the South-East Asia Region,
  • 72% in the Region of the Americas,
  • 65% in the Western Pacific Region, and
  • 64% in the Eastern Mediterranean Region
  • 66% (all ages); 71% (children under 5 years) in the African Region

Since 2000, nearly 1 billion insecticide-treated mosquito nets have been distributed in sub-Saharan Africa.

In 2000, less than 2% of the population in sub-Saharan Africa was sleeping under mosquito nets. This rose to about 55% by 2015.

Despite progress, significant challenges remain:

  • Globally, about 3.2 billion people—nearly half of the world’s population—are at risk of malaria.
  • In 2015, there were estimated 214 million new cases of malaria, and approximately 438 000 deaths.
  • Since 2010, 60 of the 78 countries that monitor insecticide resistance have reported mosquito resistance to at least one insecticide used in nets and indoor spraying; of these, 49 reported resistance to two or more insecticide classes.
  • Parasite resistance to artemisinin— the core compound of the best available antimalarial medicines—has been detected in 5 countries of the Greater Mekong subregion.

15 countries, mainly in Africa, account for most global malaria cases (80%) and deaths (78%). According to the report, these high burden countries have achieved slower-than-average declines in malaria incidence (32%) compared to other countries globally (53%). In many of these countries, weak health systems continue to impede progress in malaria control.

Useful Links:

Link to the Press Release:


Link to the World Malaria Report 2015 (Foreword and Key Points in English, French and Spanish; Rest in English, PDF):


Link to the WHO Malaria Fact sheet (updated October 2015):



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