We have had progress in the fight against malaria, but the efforts have slowed down in recent years. On this World Malaria Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) is calling on new innovations to help continue the fight against the disease.

World Malaria Day, observed annually on April 25, stresses the need to continue investment and commitment in the fight against malaria. Despite progress in reducing the global burden of malaria from 2000 to 2015, it has actually been "slowed or stalled in recent years," the WHO explained.

"No single tool that is available today will solve the problem of malaria," the agency noted.

This year's theme – "Harness innovation to reduce the malaria disease burden and save lives" – calls for more investment and innovation to help improve the pace once more.

On this day, people can make an effort to be more informed about the disease and the state of the global fight against it.

Here are some important facts about malaria. (Courtesy: WHO)

  • Malaria is both preventable and treatable, but it continues to impact people's health all over the world.
  • It is estimated that there were 241 million new malaria cases and 627,000 malaria-related deaths in 85 countries in 2020.
  • WHO African Region made up a whopping 95% of malaria cases and 96% of the deaths in 2020.
  • Over two-thirds of the deaths were in children below five years in the WHO Africa Region.
  • About two-thirds of the additional deaths were linked to the disruptions in malaria efforts amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 2021 saw the use of the world's first malaria vaccine. By April this year, over a million children in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi have received the vaccine.
  • Also in 2021, two more countries achieved "malaria-free" status: China and El Salvador.

On World Malaria Day, let's look at some important quotes about the fight against malaria. (Courtesy: AZ Quotes and Brainy Quote)

  • "It is now widely recognized that any attempt at malaria education must be a long-term commitment that involves multiple interventions, disciplines, strategies and organizations." - Anthony Fauci
  • "Malaria kills and its main victims are children and women. We can stop this scourge so people can live with dignity and go to work and school." - Youssou N'Dour
  • "For Africa to move forward, you've really got to get rid of malaria." - Bill Gates
  • "It is estimated that Africa loses about 13 billion dollars a year to the disease. Five dollars can save a life. We can send people to the moon; we can see if there's life on Mars-why can't we get five dollar nets to 500 million people?" - Jacqueline Novogratz
  • "Our progress against malaria is impressive. But vigilance remains a critical ingredient to protect the health of all people." - Tom Frieden
The Anopheles gambiae group of mosquito species are currently the main drivers of malaria's spread in Africa
The Anopheles gambiae group of mosquito species are currently the main drivers of malaria's spread in Africa AFP / Olympia DE MAISMONT