India, 15 African Countries Reported 80% of World’s Malaria Cases in 2017: WHO Report

WHO also said that targets to reduce global infections and deaths from malaria were far from being met.


India and 15 other countries in sub-Saharan Africa accounted for almost 80 percent of all the malaria cases reported globally in 2017, the World Health Organization said in a new report adding that 1.25 billion people in India were at the risk of the disease.

The WHO, however, also praised India for making progress in reducing malaria cases in 2017 as opposed to 2016.

Of the 16 countries, five countries accounted for nearly half of all global malaria cases and those were Nigeria (25 percent), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (11 percent), Mozambique (5 percent), India and Uganda (both 4 percent), PTI reported.

WHO also said that targets to reduce global infections and deaths from malaria were far from being met.

According to the report, while new cases fell steadily until 2016, the number rose from 217 to 219 million in 2017. The WHO has set a target of a 40 percent drop in malaria cases and related death rates by 2020.

In 2017, India reported three million fewer cases, a 24 percent decrease compared with 2016.

WHO also said that while India “had made impressive gains and was on track” to meet the Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030 targets, it still accounted for over four percent of the global burden of malaria morbidity and 52 percent of deaths outside of the WHO African Region, PTI reported. The report added that India and Indonesia were on track to achieve a 2040 percent reduction in case of incidence by 2020.

The report also said that India was among the countries that detected high treatment failure rates and responded by changing their treatment policies, PTI said in its report.

“The world faces a new reality: as progress stagnates, we are at risk of squandering years of toil, investment, and success in reducing the number of people suffering from the disease,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “We recognize we have to do something different now.”

According to the report, the 10 highest burden countries in Africa reported increases in cases of malaria in 2017 when compared to 2016 and of those Nigeria, Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of the Congo had the highest estimated increases, all greater than half a million cases, the news agency wrote.

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