Global malaria infection and death rates have remained virtually unchanged since 2015, WHO said, adding that the world is now off track, as is shown in the WHO World Malaria Report in 2018, to achieve the 2030 goals set out in the WHO Global Technical Strategy for malaria 2016-2030, which aims for a 90-percent reduction in the malaria case incidence and mortality rate. In a press briefing on Thursday, Alonso acknowledged that "with the tools we have today, it is most unlikely eradication will be achieved".
According to the WHO Malaria Report 2018, 11 countries accounted for approximately 70 percent of estimated malaria cases and deaths globally in 2017.
"To achieve a malaria-free world we must reinvigorate the drive to find the transformative strategies and tools that can be tailored to the local situation".
The key to eradicating malaria in the near future is stepped up research and development of new tools to battle the disease, a World Health Organization (WHO) expert group that spent the last 3 years studying the malaria landscape said today in a report.
But the WHO's malaria eradication report, a summary of which was published on Friday, said these tools would not be sufficient to wipe out malaria altogether.
The report said beefed up intervention could reduce cases by two billion and fatalities by 4 million by 2030 if aid could be targeted to the 29 worst-hit countries.
WHO's Strategic Advisory Group says that the world is not even on track to meet the 2020 milestones to eliminate malaria in 10 countries that would lead us to lower incidence cases and mortality by 90 percent by 2030 (from the 2015 level).
"Freeing the world of malaria would be one of the greatest achievements in public health", said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
"Should we really be pushing for malaria or should we concentrate on getting some of those other diseases out of the way first?" he asked.
Although several African countries began immunizing children against malaria in national programs this year, the shot only protects about one third of children who get it.
"Making better use of data and surveillance, and a strong health system, important components of the WHO and RBM Partnership High Burden to High Impact approach". Last November, for example, World Health Organization and the RBM Partnership to End Malaria launched the "High burden to high impact" approach. Worryingly, in some countries, malaria is on the rise.
A number of drugs are available to successfully treat malaria, and insecticide-treated bednets have proved able to control mosquitoes and infections. The economic gain would be around US$ 283 billion in total gross domestic product (GDP) - a benefit to cost ratio in excess of 8:1. Promising new efforts are being developed, and the world's first vaccine against malaria-RTS, S/AS01-has been deployed in Ghana and Malawi, with plans for a Kenya rollout.