According to a new World Health Organization research released on Thursday, the number of cases of malaria increased by around 5 million annually in 2022, surpassing global efforts to contain the disease. This indicates that the world may lose the battle against malaria.
However, the WHO’s annual World Malaria Report stated that since 2015, progress has already slowed as a result of violence and developing medicine and insecticide resistance.
“More than ever, we are at risk of losing our fight against this disease,” Peter Sands, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, stated.
“The report reveals that progress has ground to a halt, and in some places is reversing. Unless we take action now, malaria could resurge dramatically, wiping out the hard-won gains of the last two decades.”
An estimated 249 million cases of malaria were reported in 2022. In contrast to the WHO’s aim of 26.2 cases by 2025, the global malaria case incidence at that time was 58.4 cases per 1,000 persons who are considered to be at risk.
According to the global health agency, progress towards the 2025 milestone is 55% behind schedule and, if the current trajectory continues, would be missed by 89% this year. Where the weather was most severe, there was a spike in cases.
For instance, the data indicated that malaria cases in Pakistan increased five-fold in the country last year as a result of floods.
Between 2000 and 2019, the number of malaria deaths decreased steadily from 864,000 to 576,000. They increased during the pandemic, and the disease claimed the lives of an estimated 608,000 people in 2017—mostly young children.
However, the research also revealed a major funding shortfall in the reaction. Approximately $7.8 billion was required, according to the report, even though $4.1 billion was invested in the global effort to combat malaria in 2022.