Geneva, Dec 12: An estimated 3.3 million lives have been saved since 2000 due to global efforts to control and eliminate malaria, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said in a report Wednesday, adding, however more needs to be done.
The World Malaria Report 2013 showed how an increased political commitment and expanded funding have helped to reduce incidence of malaria by 29 percent globally, and by 31 percent in Africa between 2000 and 2012, Xinhua reported.
Malaria mortality rates have been reduced by 45 percent globally and by 49 percent in Africa over the same period, and mortality rates in children in Africa were reduced by an estimated 54 percent, the report said.
However, there were an estimated 207 million cases of malaria, which caused approximately 627,000 deaths in 2012, it added.
According to WHO, an estimated 3.4 billion people continue to be at risk of malaria, mostly in Africa and south-east Asia. Among them, 1.2 billion are at high risk. In high-risk areas, more than one malaria case occurs for every 1,000 population.
The report said that malaria prevention suffered a setback after its strong build-up between 2005 and 2010 mainly due to inadequate funding.
It said an estimated $5.1 billion is needed every year for universal coverage of interventions. However, in 2012, the global total of international and domestic funding for malaria was $2.5 billion.
The WHO said it is currently developing a global technical strategy for malaria control and elimination for the 2016-2025 period.