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The joint WHO-UNICEF report – Achieving the Malaria MDG Target – shows that the malaria MDG target 6c, calling for halting and beginning to reverse the incidence of malaria by 2015, has been met convincingly. The number of malaria cases fell from an estimated 262 million in 2000, to 214 million in 2015. The annual number of deaths from malaria plunged from 839,000 to 438,000. The incidence malaria cases globally has dropped by 37 per cent over the past 15 years, while malaria mortality fell by 60 per cent, achieving the Millennium Development Goal of reversing the incidence of the disease by 2015. However, more than 3 billion people – mostly in sub-Saharan Africa – remain at risk for malaria, but significant funding gaps remain. If malaria elimination goals are to be reached, funding will need to triple from current levels.
Children under five account for more than two-thirds of all deaths associated with malaria. Between 2000 and 2015, the under-five malaria death rate fell by 65 per cent, translating to an estimated 5.9 million child lives saved over the last 15 years. Global bi-lateral and multi-lateral funding for malaria has increased 20-fold since 2000. Domestic investments within malaria-affected countries have also increased year by year. The surge in funding has led to an unprecedented expansion in the delivery of core interventions across sub-Saharan Africa. Since 2000, approximately 1 billion insecticide-treated bednets (ITNs) have been distributed in Africa as well as other critical interventions.