Global efforts have significantly reduced the number of people dying from malaria, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says in a new report. The World Malaria Report shows between 2001 and 2013, 4.3m deaths were averted, 3.9m of which were children under the age of five in sub-Saharan Africa.
“Each year, more people are being reached with life-saving malaria interventions. In 2004, three per cent of those at risk had access to mosquito nets, but now 50 per cent do,” WHO said in the report.
There has been a scaling up of diagnostic testing, and more people are now able to receive medicines to treat the parasitic infection, which is spread by the bites of infected mosquitoes.
WHO says the number of countries moving towards malaria elimination is also increasing.
In Africa, where 90 per cent of all malaria deaths occur, the number of people infected has fallen by a quarter from 173m in 2000 to 128m in 2013.
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Margaret Chan, the director general, WHO said: “These tremendous achievements are the result of improved tools, increased political commitment, and a major increase in international and domestic financing.”