The World Health Organization (WHO) member states recently approved of the new global malaria strategy for 2016-30 and also approved of the proposed program budget for 2016-17. The strategy’s goal is to reduce the burden of the global disease by 40 percent by 2020. The next milestone will be to reduce the global disease burden by 90 percent by 2030, the new deadline for malaria eradication in at least 35 new countries.
The worldwide malaria mortality rate has decreased by 47 percent between 2000 and 2013. Health experts attribute part of this success to the major expansion of the WHO’s core package of measures (treatment, diagnostic testing, vector control and chemoprevention) that the organization recommends. Unfortunately, millions of people still do not have access to prevention or treatment for malaria. Many of the new malaria cases and fatalities are still unreported and unregistered. In 2013, approximately 584,000 people died from malaria.
The new strategy plans to use accelerated efforts for malaria elimination and malaria-free status, guaranteed universal access to malaria prevention, treatment and diagnosis, as well as strengthened surveillance of malaria. Research, innovations, political commitments, strong health systems, collaboration throughout different sectors and sustainable financing are all crucial elements to attaining this goal.