(Reuters) – The number of malaria-related deaths decreased slightly in 2021 after a significant increase in the first year of the coronavirus outbreak, but remained higher than the number estimated before the pandemic, according to the report. WHO released Thursday.
In its 2022 report on malaria in the world, the World Health Organization said that the estimated deaths due to malaria worldwide decreased from 625 thousand in 2020 to 619 thousand last year, with the stability of health service activity after epidemic disturbances, especially in Africa where it is spreading disease more. However, the number of deaths remained higher than the 568,000 estimated in 2019.
Four countries – Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Niger and Tanzania – were responsible for just over half of all malaria deaths globally in 2021.
The drop in deaths comes even as the number of malaria cases continues to rise in 2021, reaching an estimated 247 million, compared to 245 million in 2020 and 232 million in 2019.
The World Health Organization also noted that funding cuts due to the pandemic and increased costs have increased pressure on national malaria control programmes.
In 2021, financing amounted to approximately $3.5 billion, according to the report, while the required investment amounted to $7.3 billion.
Programs financed in this way enable, among other things, the development of preventive tools, in particular the distribution of insecticide-impregnated bed nets. (Written by Pratik Jain and Leroy Leo Bengaluru; French version by Elena Smirnova, narrated by Blandine Hannault)