Lonely Planet Writer

Malaria deaths fall dramatically in sub-Saharan Africa

The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) annual malaria report has shown that the number of malaria deaths dropped below half a million in the past year, which illustrates the significant progress against the disease in parts of sub-Saharan Africa that were previously among the hardest hit.

Demonstrating how to use a mosquito net in Rwanda.
Demonstrating how to use a mosquito net in Rwanda. Image by Julien Harneis / CC BY-SA 2.0

In 2000, some 839,000 people lost their lives to the mosquito-borne illness, with last year’s figure standing at 438,000. The report noted that the use of bed nets, spraying (indoor and outdoor) and other malaria prevention measures have now saved millions of lives (and millions of dollars in healthcare costs) over the past 14 years across Africa. The continent, however, continues to bear the highest burden from malaria of any global region, but death rates from the disease have plummeted by 66% across all age groups since 2000, and by 71% among those under the age of five. Read more: theguardian.com