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WHO publishes World Malaria Report 2017

01 Dec 2017

The World Health Organisation (WHO) published the World Malaria Report 2017  on 29 November.

The decline in malaria numbers since the beginning of the millennium has stalled, with an increase in 2016. There were about 216 million cases in 91 endemic countries, compared to about 211 million in 2015. Most were in the WHO African Region (90%), followed by the WHO South-East Asia Region (3%) and the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region (2%). Eighty percent of cases and 80% of mortality are reported from 14 African countries, with India.

Conflict in African countries remains a challenge to malaria control, with Nigeria and South Sudan experiencing particular problems. Economic decline and instability accompanied by a collapsing health system in Venezuela have allowed a resurgence of malaria. Vector control remains a challenge in many endemic countries, as do prevention and treatment due to drug resistance. In 34 out of 41 high burden countries, funding has declined in the past three years. Global funding is currently less than half of what is needed in order to meet WHO targets.

Health Protection Scotland (HPS), under the umbrella of the Scottish Malaria Advisory Group (SMAG), use the WHO data, and various other sources, to develop the TRAVAX country recommendations and accompanying malaria maps. This advice is updated on a continually ongoing basis to reflect the changing incidence of malaria globally, and the methodology has been previously published.

SMAG recommendations may differ in some instances from that provided by the Advisory Committee on Malaria Prevention (ACMP) and NaTHNaC. Healthcare professionals are assured, however, that if they follow either standard, their travellers will be receiving expert advice based on evidence-based recommendations.