World Malaria Day, marked each year on April 25, is an occasion to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment for malaria prevention and control. The Day was instituted by World Health Organization (WHO) Member States during the 2007 World Health Assembly.
This year, 2023, the World Malaria Day theme is “Time to deliver zero malaria: invest, innovate, implement”.
Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by Plasmodium parasites. The parasites are spread to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes, called “malaria vectors.” There are 5 parasite species that cause malaria in humans, and 2 of these species – P. falciparum and P. vivax – pose the greatest threat.
Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease that continues to have a devastating impact on the health and livelihood of people around the world.
There were an estimated 619 000 malaria deaths globally in 2021 compared to 625 000 in the first year of the pandemic. In 2019, before the pandemic struck, the number of deaths stood at 568 000. Malaria cases continued to rise between 2020 and 2021, but at a slower rate than in the period 2019 to 2020. The global tally of malaria cases reached 247 million in 2021 compared to 245 million in 2020 and 232 million in 2019.