The World Health Organization (WHO) has claimed malaria can be eradicated but says accelerated research and development in new tools for malaria prevention and treatment is needed to achieve this, in addition to advancing universal health coverage and improving access to services.
It comes as data show global malaria infection and mortality rates have remained virtually unchanged since 2015 and the world is off-track to achieve goals of a 90 per cent reduction in malaria incidence and mortality rates by 2030.
Next month, the WHO will host a forum on 'Rising to the Challenge of Malaria Eradication' and ahead of the event, WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group on Malaria Eradication has published the executive summary of a new report which looks at the feasibility of achieving malaria eradication.
The analyses show that scaling up current malaria interventions would prevent an additional 2 billion malaria cases and 4 million deaths by 2030 - provided those interventions reach 90 per cent of the population in the 29 countries that account for 95 per cent of the global burden.
The group says, while it is not yet possible to set a target date for malaria eradication, efforts should focus on establishing the foundation for a successful future eradication effort.