In 2022, India accounted for 66% of malaria cases in the WHO South-East Asia Region noted the new — 2023 World Malaria Report — published by the World Health Organization (WHO). It adds that almost 46% of all cases in the region were due to Plasmodium vivax, which is a protozoal parasite and a human pathogen, which is the most frequent and widely distributed cause of recurring malaria.
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Released earlier this week, the report highlights that despite strides in expanding access to insecticide-treated nets and medicines to help prevent malaria in young children and pregnant women, more people were getting sick with malaria.
The WHO South-East Asia Region accounted for about 2% of malaria cases globally while malaria cases declined by 76%, from 23 million in 2000 to about five million in 2022. “Malaria case incidence in this region decreased by 83%, from about 18 cases per 1,000 population at risk in 2000 to about three cases per 1,000 population at risk in 2022,” said the report.
Giving the global picture and trends in Malaria the report stated that in 2022, there were estimated 249 million cases globally, exceeding the pre-pandemic level of 233 million in 2019 by 16 million cases.
In addition to the disruptions caused by COVID-19, the global malaria response has faced a growing number of threats, such as drug and insecticide resistance, humanitarian crises, resource constraints, climate change impacts and delays in programme implementation particularly in countries with a high burden of the disease, said the report, which also delves into the nexus between climate change and malaria.
“The changing climate poses a substantial risk to progress against malaria, particularly in vulnerable regions,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, in his note, adding that a substantial pivot in the fight against malaria is needed, with increased resourcing, strengthened political commitment, data-driven strategies and innovative tools. “Innovation should focus on the development of more efficient, effective and affordable products.”