Malawi Makes Progress in Malaria Fight
The Ministry of Health says the country reduced malaria cases from 6.1 million in 2016 to 4.2 million cases in 2022 and malaria deaths from 4,000 to 1,829 in 2022.
Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda says despite the country registering a decline in malaria cases and deaths, a lot still needs to be done to eliminate the disease.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Malaria Report 2023, globally malaria cases increased by 6% in the last five years - from an estimated 232 million cases in 2016 to 247 million cases in 2021 in 87 malaria endemic countries.
Most of them were reported by countries in the WHO African region, says the report.
In the region, malaria deaths increased by 7% - from 580,000 in 2016 to 593,000 in 2021.
The report further states that in the WHO African Region, malaria cases increased by 11% from an estimated 211 million cases in 2016 to 234 cases in 2021, accounting for about 95% of all global malaria cases.
In terms of deaths caused by malaria, globally they increased by 9% from 542,000 in 2016 to 593,000 in 2021.
Speaking Tuesday as Malawi joined other African nations in commemorating the SADC Malaria week, minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda said malaria kills five people every day in the country, mostly under-five children and pregnant women.
She called for collaborative efforts to eliminate the disease by 2030.
The minister said her ministry has lined up a number of interventions, such as increasing and sustaining the proportion of suspected cases of malaria that are tested from 98% in 2022 and treat all the confirmed cases by the stated period.
"We have managed to roll out the malaria vaccine in 11 districts and more than 600 thousand under-five children have received at least once dose of the vaccine," she said.
The Malawi government has since appealed for more support from the donor community and the developed towards the fight against the disease.