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Protest signs in Caracas, Venezuela, where a drug shortage has exacerbated a massive malaria outbreak. Photo: Roman Camacho/NurPhoto via Getty Images

In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) adopted its ambitious Global Technical Strategy for Malaria (GTS) for 2030: eliminate malaria in 35 countries, reduce malaria incidence and deaths by 90% and prevent resurgence in malaria-free countries.

Where it stands: Significant progress has been made, but malaria remains a major threat — killing one child every two minutes — and is experiencing a resurgence. To meet the GTS targets, current funding will have to more than double to $6.5 billion by 2020.

The background: In the last decade, philanthropic and government spending on malaria control increased 15-fold, hitting an estimated $2.7 billion per year since 2010. (The U.S. is the largest donor, contributing a little over 30% of the 2016 total.)

The impact, per the WHO:

  • Between 2000 and 2015, malaria incidence fell by 37% and mortality by 50%, averting 6.8 million deaths.
  • In that time, 17 countries — including China, Senegal and Bolivia — eliminated malaria and 21 came close.
  • Between 2010 and 2016, malaria deaths for children under five declined from 440,000 to 285,000.

But funding and treatment breakthroughs have recently plateaued: 2016 saw 5 million more cases than 2015. While a rise in resistance to antimalarial medication and sprays is partly to blame, conflict and economic shocks in countries like Nigeria, South Sudan, Yemen and Venezuela have also contributed.

Poor, rural and indigenous populations — especially in conflict and post-conflict settings — remain the hardest hit. As of 2016, 15 countries in sub-Saharan Africa carried 80% of the global malaria burden. Their high infection rates are compounded by insufficient domestic budgets and struggling health systems.

What to watch: The WHO rolled out a new child vaccine in three African countries earlier this year. But for a sustainable solution, afflicted countries need enough money to fortify their local health systems.

Tanvi Nagpal is acting director of the International Development Program and Practitioner in Residence at Johns Hopkins SAIS.

Go deeper

Neera Tanden withdraws nomination for Office of Management and Budget director

Neera Tanden testifying before the Senate Budget Committee in Washington, D.C., in February 2021. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Neera Tanden withdrew her name from nomination to lead the Office of Management and Budget after several senators voiced opposition and concern about her qualifications and past combative tweets, President Biden announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: Tanden’s decision to pull her nomination marks Biden's first setback in filling out his Cabinet with a thin Democratic majority in the Senate.

What's ahead for the newest female CEOs

Jane Fraser (L) and Rosalind Brewer. Photos: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images; Rodrigo Capote/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

The number of women at the helm of America’s biggest companies pales in comparison to men, but is newly growing — and their tasks are huge.

What's going on: Jane Fraser took over at Citigroup this week, the first woman to ever lead a major U.S. bank. Rosalind Brewer will take the reins at Walgreens in the coming weeks (March 15) — a company that's been run by white men for more than a century.

3 hours ago - Health

Biden says U.S. will have enough vaccines for 300 million adults by end of May

President Biden. Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

President Biden on Tuesday said that ramped-up coronavirus vaccine production will provide enough doses for 300 million Americans by the end May.

Why it matters: That's two months sooner than Biden's previous promise of enough vaccines for all American adults by the end of July.