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


Only One Third of Children Receive Appropriate Malaria Care

Despite lots of progress made in the past decade, more than 270,000 children die from Malaria each year. Most of these deaths could be avoided through timely diagnosis and... More...


Molecular Signatures can Predict the Efficacy of Malaria Vaccines

A new study reveals that it is possible to identify those individuals that will be protected by the malaria vaccine before its administration. The researchers also found that... 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 2017, an estimated 219 million cases occurred worldwide and there where about 435 000 deaths from malaria globally.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa carries a disproportionately high share of the global malaria burden. In 2017, the region was home to 92% of malaria cases and 93% 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 2017, malaria incidence (the rate of new cases) among populations at risk fell by 18% globally.
  • In that same period, malaria death rates among populations at risk fell by 28% globally among all age groups and by 40% among children under 5.
  • Malaria is preventable and curable, and increased efforts are dramatically reducing the malaria burden in many places.
  • Despite these achievements, progress has stalled in many countries in recent years and efforts are undertaken to intensify the response in the highest burden countries.
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: