World Malaria Day fell on 25 April 2022, with its campaign theme being 'Harness innovation to reduce the malaria disease burden and save lives'. This campaign highlighted the fact that no single tool is available that will reduce the burden of malaria and worldwide investment and innovation is needed to consider new vector control approaches, diagnostics, antimalarial medicines and other tools to speed up the pace of progress against malaria.
According to the latest World Malaria Report, there were an estimated 241 million cases of malaria and 627,000 malaria-related deaths worldwide in 2020, which is an increase of 14 million cases, and 69,000 deaths compared to 2019, although approximately two-thirds of the additional malaria deaths in 2020 were linked to disruptions in malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report also showed that 95% of malaria cases and deaths occurred in the World Health Organization (WHO) African region, with more than half of all malaria deaths occurring in Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, United Republic of Tanzania and Mozambique.
Children under five years of age are the most vulnerable group affected, accounting for approximately two-thirds of all global deaths from malaria in 2020.
Advice for travellers
Malaria, a preventable and treatable disease, is spread by the bite of female Anopheles mosquito. Most Anopheles species prefer to feed between dusk and dawn, which is when most transmission of malaria occurs.
Country-specific malaria risk can be found on individual TRAVAX destination webpages. If malaria is present, a map and accompanying prevention advice is provided, following the A, B, C, D format of malaria prevention.
- Awareness of risk - a summary description of the malaria risk for that country.
- Bite prevention - practical measures to take to avoid mosquito bites.
- Chemoprophylaxis - country specific chemoprophylaxis advice.
- Diagnosis and treatment - information on the signs and symptoms of malaria and the importance of prompt treatment.
Further information on malaria can be found on the TRAVAX (for health professionals) and fitfortravel (for the general public) websites.
Sources: TRAVAX, 22 April 2022 and fitfortravel, 22 April 2022