Malaria kills one every 51 seconds in 2021

Malaria is killing one person every 51 seconds worldwide, while in 2021 an average of 676,712 cases were reported per day. This information has been revealed in the ‘World Malaria Report 2022’ published today by the World Health Organization (WHO). According to the report, in 2021, 619,000 people died from malaria worldwide, while 247 million cases were reported.

Significantly, 95 per cent of malaria cases reported in 2021, i.e. around 234 million cases, were recorded on the African continent alone. Similarly, about 96 per cent of malaria deaths were also recorded in Africa itself.

Whereas in 2020, about 24.5 crore cases of malaria were reported. It means that this year 20 lakh more cases were reported as compared to last year. Whereas in 2019, the number of malaria-infected was recorded at 232 million.

Not only this, the data published in the report revealed that only 29 countries of the world are carrying 96 per cent of the burden of malaria. These include the four African countries Nigeria (27 per cent), the Democratic Republic of Congo (12 per cent), Uganda (5 per cent) and Mozambique (4 per cent) which account for more than 50 per cent of the world’s cases.

The WHO also highlighted that reduced funding due to the pandemic and rising costs have increased pressure on national malaria programmes.

Funding in 2021 came to nearly $3.5 billion, according to the report, compared to a required investment of $7.3 billion.

However, these programs continued to ensure that the worst-case scenario was avoided, especially in terms of the distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets, the main prevention tool.

India accounts for 79% of South East Asia cases

If we talk about the South East Asia region, 79 per cent of the cases in this region were reported in India alone, while 83 per cent of malaria deaths in this region were recorded in India. Significantly, there has also been a significant increase in deaths due to malaria in this region. And in 2016, Sri Lanka was declared malaria-free. No cases of malaria have been reported there yet.

Between 2000 and 2019, there has been a 79 per cent drop in malaria deaths in the region. In this region, where 35,000 people died due to malaria, in 2019 this figure came down to 9,000. There has been no change in this figure for the last three years.

The disruptions caused by global pandemics and humanitarian crises have exacerbated the challenges facing health systems. In addition, financial constraints, increasing biological threats and a decline in disease prevention measures have further exacerbated the crisis.

Drop of 18.33% compared

In 2021, 334 people died from malaria in the Americas, a drop of 18.33% compared to the same figure in 2020. For its part, 600,000 new cases of malaria were registered on the continent, 8.11% less than in the previous year.

Malaria cases recorded in the American continent accounted for only 0.2% of global infections. Venezuela, Brazil and Colombia topped the list of countries with the highest number of infections, although cases fell significantly in all three places.

In Venezuela, 223,000 cases of malaria were reported in 2021, a figure that contrasts with that of two years ago, before the pandemic, when annual malaria cases in the Caribbean country were 467,000, double that of 2021.

However, the WHO warned of the increase in malaria in Honduras and Panama, especially after the outbreak of covid-19. In Honduras, 2,290 cases were registered, five times more than in 2019; while in Panama 4,585 infections were recorded, twice as many as two years ago.

On the other hand, El Salvador was the only American country that received certification as a malaria-free country in 2021, after four consecutive years without registering any autochthonous cases.

Belize is also about to reach this goal, which in 2021 chained its third year in a row without indigenous infections.

Deaths from malaria throughout the Americas -including the US and Canada- have fallen by more than 64% since the beginning of the century and the number of annual cases has gone from one and a half million in the year 2000 to 600,000 today, a 60 % less.


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