Every two minutes, a child under 5 dies of malaria

In 2017, there were 219 million malaria cases that led to 435,000 deaths. Of these 61 per cent (266,000) were children under 5 years of age. This translates into a daily toll of nearly 730 children under age 5. Every two minutes, a child under five dies of malaria. Most of these deaths occurred in Sub-Saharan Africa. Since 2010, mortality rates among children under 5 have fallen by 34 per cent.

Malaria is an urgent public health priority. Malaria and the costs of treatment trap families in a cycle of illness, suffering and poverty. Today, 3.7 billion (half of the world population) are at risk.  Since 2000, malaria has cost sub-Saharan Africa US$ 300 million each year for case management alone and it is estimated to cost up to 1.3 per cent of GDP in Africa. As of 2018, direct costs of malaria are estimated to be $12 billion USD per year.


Malaria data

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  • Child health coverage

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  • Malaria mortality as a cause of death in children under 5

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Notes on the data

The following is the Sustainable  Development Goal indicators for the monitoring of malaria:

Sustainable Development Goal Target Malaria specific indicator
Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages Target 3.3 By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases 3.3.3  Malaria incidence per 1,000 population

* This indicator refers to antimalarial treatment among all children with fevers, rather than among confirmed malaria cases, and thus should be interpreted with caution.

For additional information, visit the latest Household Survey Indicators for Malaria Control manual.