Malaria is a disease caused by Plasmodium parasites. The parasites are spread to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes, called malaria vectors. There are five parasite species that cause malaria in humans, and two of these species (P. falciparum and P. vivax) pose the greatest threat. Malaria is a major disease burden in tropical low-income countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. People with malaria often experience fever, chills, and flu-like illness. Left untreated, they may develop severe complications and die.

Can Malaria Transmission be Inhibited?

The main way to prevent malaria transmission is to reduce the mosquito bites, for example with insecticide treated bed nets or indoor residual spraying. When appropriate, the use of larvicides at the breeding sites could also reduce the population of adult mosquitoes.

Hope Lies with Malaria Vaccine Development

Malaria cases can be treated with artemisinin-based combination therapy. To date there is no malaria vaccine on the market, but there are promising candidates, such as the RTS, S vaccine, the world’s currently most advanced malaria vaccine.

Swiss TPH Malaria Initiative

01.12.2017 - 09:00:00

Need for Innovation to End Malaria

The updated global research agenda for malaria eradication, ‘malERA Refresh,’ calls for new medicines and tools as well as integrated approaches to address current challenges and... More...

09.11.2017 - 18:00:00

A milestone in the fight against malaria

The malaria parasite employs an effective trick: it forces transmission from human to human as soon as the conditions in the host deteriorate. An international research team... More...

Malaria is a Major Disease Burden

  • Malaria is a disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.
  • In 2015, nearly half of the world’s population was at risk of malaria.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa carries a disproportionately high share of the global malaria burden. In 2015, the region was home to 90% of malaria cases and 92% of malaria deaths.
  • The population at risk are the young children, pregnant women and non-immune travelers from malaria-free areas who are particularly vulnerable to the disease when they become infected.

Achievements in Malaria Control

  • Between 2010 and 2015, malaria incidence (the rate of new cases) among populations at risk fell by 21% globally.
  • In that same period, malaria death rates among populations at risk fell by 29% globally among all age groups and by 35% among children under 5.
  • Malaria is preventable and curable, and increased efforts are dramatically reducing the malaria burden in many places.
Covering the Community with Mosquito Bed Nets

Next Targets

  • The World Health Organization Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016 – 2030, adopted by the World Health Assembly in 2015 sets the target of reducing global malaria incidence and mortality rates by at least 90% by 2030.
  • The Action and Investment to defeat Malaria 2016 – 2030, developed by the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, calculates the global return on investment to achieve the 2030 malaria goals and guides action at all levels to increase policy coherence, overcome health system bottlenecks, reinforce partnerships and multi-sectoral efforts, foster malaria research, and improve accountability.
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Selected projects at this location: