- A preventable disease that affects almost half of the world’s population and causes over 660,000 deaths per year, mainly young children in Africa
- An infection caused by the malaria parasite entering the bloodstream – usually through the bite of an infected mosquito
- A disease that has a particularly devastating effect in Africa (as the map above shows), where over 90% of malaria deaths occur
Making malaria no more…
Malaria is preventable and treatable. Every life lost is needless. Malaria deaths can be prevented using a combination of measures proven to save lives including mosquito nets, malaria tests and medicines.
We are part of a global movement to reach near zero deaths from malaria by 2015.
We fund programmes and partners in Africa who use a combination of approaches to fight malaria. This means they use every tool at their disposal to prevent, diagnose, and treat malaria as well as promoting widespread malaria education. We also support and promote innovation and research into finding new and better ways to fight malaria, including using new technology, developing new insecticides, medicines and vaccines.
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Focus on Nets
Malaria carrying mosquitoes bite most at night. Sleeping under a mosquito net* offers double protection providing both a physical and a chemical barrier from mosquitoes. This is one of the most simple and effective means of malaria prevention and studies show that mosquito nets cut malaria cases in children by half and deaths by 20%.
*Whenever we talk about nets, we are referring to ‘Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets’ (LLINs) which have insecticide impregnated into the fabric of the net so it does not wash out. Each net lasts approximately three years and typically covers two people.
Focus on Education
Education underpins the fight against malaria. Understanding how malaria is transmitted and the action needed to prevent, diagnose and treat this disease is essential. One of the simplest routes to good education comes through Health Workers who are often the first local point of contact for people at risk of malaria. Health workers are based in their local communities and give practical guidance on how to live malaria free as well as testing for and treating malaria.
Focus on Testing
There used to be a widespread assumption that all fevers were due to malaria meaning everyone was treated for malaria. Fortunately, progress in diagnosing malaria means this is no longer the case. The current priority is to accurately diagnose suspected malaria cases using a malaria test and this policy is now being rolled out across Africa thanks to the availability of simple rapid diagnostic test kits.
Focus on Treatment
Once someone is diagnosed with malaria they need to be quickly treated with Artemisinin Combined Therapy (ACTs) – the most advanced and effective malaria medicine.
Fighting Malaria: Today and Tomorrow
Malaria research, development and delivery of new tools
There are a large number of researchers and scientists working to make sure the tools we have now to prevent, diagnose and treat malaria are as effective as possible; and to develop new tools for the future. We help to highlight the fantastic work that they are doing and explain the importance of science and research for the future of the fight against malaria.
These include: PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI) who are working on the first malaria vaccine for launch in a few years; Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) who develop new medicines to treat malaria; the International Vector Control Consortium (IVCC) who work on the best easy to prevent the spread of malaria by tackling the mosquito; and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) who work on developing the best possible tests to diagnose malaria – in particular the Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) that are now being introduced in Africa and elsewhere.
Could there be a future vaccine?
Vaccines are traditionally seen as the most effective – and often cheapest – means to stop the spread of disease. Scientists around the world are working on the development of a vaccine against malaria. It would be the first ever vaccine against a parasite and so developing one is very challenging but potentially a huge step forward in the fight against malaria. There is currently a vaccine going through trials in Africa and, if approved, it could be available from 2015. Any vaccine will only be effective in preventing malaria if it is used alongside mosquito nets and insecticide sprays.
Childrens lives saved from malaria since the start of 2011
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This last decade has seen record progress and results to save lives.
- Global malaria deaths have been reduced by more than 26%
- Over 1 million children’s lives have been saved in Africa
- 8 African countries have cut malaria incidence by more than half
- 35 of the 53 countries affected by malaria outside of Africa have cut malaria cases by over 50%
- 25 countries are currently on the path to eliminate malaria
- Mosquito net ownership in sub-Saharan Africa has risen from around 3% to 53%
- Progress has been made thanks to governments around the world prioritising the fight against malaria with international funding rising from less than $100 million in 2000 to almost $1.84 billion in 2012 – a 17 fold increase
- For £5 we can purchase, transport and deliver a mosquito net that will help save lives and protect a mother and child from catching malaria.
Inspired by Mary and Martha?
Click on one of these actions to help save lives from malaria:
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Live Below the Line: Can you live on £1 a day for five days?
Add Your Voice – Ask your MP to help halve malaria deaths in 10 countries
Did you know?
- Worldwide there are 219 million cases of malaria every year
- 100% of Ghana’s population of 24 million people is at risk of malaria
- Malaria affects almost half of the world’s population
- Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease – every life lost is needless
- In Ghana, malaria is a major cause of poverty & lost productivity, consuming up to a third of household income
- Every year, over 660,000 people die from malaria, over 90% of these deaths are in Africa
- A child dies from malaria every minute
- 2/3 of Namibia’s population is at risk from malaria but southern areas are already malaria free
- Malaria costs Africa more than £8 billion annually in lost productivity
- Deaths from malaria have fallen by 26% since 2000
- 485 children’s lives are saved every day through malaria prevention measures such as mosquito nets, the spraying of insecticide in homes and education on malaria
- Namibia has made fighting malaria a top health priority and seen a dramatic 95% drop in malaria deaths since 2000
- Sleeping under a mosquito net saves lives – nets cut malaria cases in children by half and reduce child deaths by 20%
- We’re helping support Namibia’s efforts to eliminate malaria by 2020
- David Beckham and Andy Murray are part of the fight against malaria as founding members of our Leadership Council
- Our policy advisors are international experts in the field of malaria research and development
- Although we are a small team, we have made a big impact – we have helped raise enough funds to protect over ten million people from malaria and we communicated malaria messages to people around the world
- We have a unique mascot to help make malaria no more: Mozzy Man, is a friendly mosquito and our biggest fan!