Deaths decline as UK renews commitment to end malaria

Deaths decline as UK renews commitment to end malaria

14 December 2016

The number of malaria cases and deaths globally have continued to decline, with new cases falling by 21% and deaths by 29% globally, according to the WHO World Malaria Report 2016. The report, launched in London with a speech from Secretary of State for International Developent, Rt Hon Priti Patel MP, celebrated the dramatic 62% fall in malaria deaths in Africa since 2000, but warned that there are still big challenges ahead in the global malaria fight. 

Photograph of Rt Hon Priti Patel MP at World Malaria Report launch

Ms Patel announced new support from the Department for International Development (DFID) for advancing antimalarial drugs that can combat resistant strains of the disease, including for the treatment of malaria during pregnancy, as well as new insecticides to strengthen the life-saving protection that bednets and house-sprays can bring.

Speaking to health professionals, industry experts, NGOs and parliamentarians including Dr Pedro Alonso, Director of the Global Malaria Programme at the World Health Organisation and the Global Fund's Executive Director, Dr Mark Dybul, she set out how the UK will continue to take a leading role in the global fight against malaria, saying that "in our increasingly interconnected world it is in the UK’s interests to take on global health threats and push others to step up so we can end malaria for good."

The new DFID investments to help tackle this global health threat include up to £50million in the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), to support critical work developing and delivering new antimalarial drugs, plus up to £25million for the Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC) to develop new insecticides. 

Speakers and guests at the WHO World Malaria Report 2016

Additional guests included Jeremy Lefroy MP, Chair of the APPG for Malaria & NTDs, Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho, Chair, Roll Back Malaria, and Jeremy Farrar OBE, Director, Wellcome Trust, who said that "the world owes DFID a big thank you". 

Commenting on the report, James Whiting, Executive Director of Malaria No More UK who co-hosted the report launch with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Malaria and NTDs said;

“The UK government’s renewed commitment to tackling this disease comes at a crucial time. This year has seen the elimination of malaria in both Sri Lanka and Kyrgyzstan, but the emergence of drug and pesticide resistance threatens to derail the progress we’ve made so far. We must sustain momentum in the fight against malaria to ensure that the achievements of one generation are not lost to the next.”

To download the full WHO World Malaria Report click here to visit the WHO website