According to him, he US$ 2.7 billion invested in 2016 represented less than half of that amount. He expressed particular concern that since 2014, investments in Malaria control have, on average, declined in many high-burden countries.
He said for many years, the global response to Malaria was considered one of the world’s great public health achievements. WHO according to him reported time and again on the massive roll-out of effective disease-cutting tools, and on impressive reductions in cases and deaths.
The director went stating that: “Last December, we noted a troubling shift in the trajectory of this disease. The data showed that less than half of countries with ongoing transmission were on track to reach critical targets for reductions in the death and disease caused by malaria. Progress appeared to have stalled.”
He said the World Malaria Report 2017 shows that this worrying trend continues; adding that although there are some bright spots in the data, the overall decline in the global Malaria burden has unquestionably leveled off.
Dr. Ghebreyesus furthered that in some countries and regions, “we are beginning to see reversals in the gains achieved. Global disease burden and trends in 2016, 91 countries reported a total of 216 million cases of Malaria, an increase of 5 million cases over the previous year. The global tally of malaria deaths reached 445 000 deaths, about the same number reported in 2015”.
He said although Malaria case incidence has fallen globally since 2010, the rate of decline has stalled and
even reversed in some regions since 2014, adding that mortality rates have followed a similar pattern.
The WHO African Region he revealed further continues to account for about 90% of Malaria cases and deaths worldwide, adding that fifteen countries – all but one in sub-Saharan Africa – carry 80% of the global Malaria burden.
To this end, Director Ghebreyesus concluded by asking how have countries fared in delivering services that prevent, diagnose and treat Malaria for all in need? While we have made important headway, the pace of progress must be greatly accelerated if we are to reach our global malaria targets for 2020 and beyond.
“In 2016, just over half (54%) of people at risk of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa were sleeping under an insecticide-treated mosquito net – the primary prevention method. This level of coverage represents a considerable increase since 2010 but is far from the goal of universal access.