Report: Malaria deaths among children under 5 down since 2000

Challenges remain in the global fight against this preventable, treatable disease, but significant progress has been made, thanks to efforts by governments and organizations like World Vision.

By Chris Huber, World Vision U.S.
Published January 23, 2014 at 10:30am PST

Half as many children younger than 5 died of malaria in 2012 as did in 2000, the World Health Organization said in its recent World Malaria Report.

Of the estimated 207 million people who had malaria in 2012, nearly 630,000 of them died; about 482,000 were under age 5.

Despite the challenges in battling the disease that threatens half of the world’s population, health authorities are claiming significant progress.

“It is a time to celebrate an amazing humanitarian and public health achievement,” said Robert Newman, director of WHO’s global malaria program, after releasing the report. “But…if you happen to be one of the kids that’s in the part of the glass that’s half empty, then a half-full glass isn’t full enough. And we have to work together to find those resources.”

World Vision and its partners distributed 2.9 million insecticide-treated bed nets in 2012.

Amit Chakraborty uses his mosquito net every night. The young boy from Dhaka, Bangladesh, fears what might happen if he sleeps without the protective cloak draped around his bed.

“It is required,” he says seriously. “If a mosquito bites me, I will get sick of malaria or dengue fever. Downstairs a boy got sick from a mosquito bite. He had to go to the hospital.”

Amit is sponsored through World Vision, so he and his family got help. Still, millions of others remain vulnerable to potentially deadly mosquito bites.

But experts posit that efforts to control the disease prevented as many as 3.3 million deaths in the first dozen years of the millennium. World Vision takes such measures in malaria-endemic regions, including distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets, medical care, prevention education, and more.

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Ways you can help

  • Thank God for the progress made in reducing child malaria deaths over the past decade. Pray for a continued decline in fatalities from this preventable, treatable disease, and pray for its ultimate worldwide eradication.
  • Make a one-time donation to World Vision’s Malaria Eradication Fund. Your contribution will support World Vision’s malaria prevention efforts in areas of high risk, providing interventions like insecticide-treated bed nets, prevention education, medical care, and more.
  • Give monthly to help World Vision fight malaria. Your monthly donation will help World Vision reach even more children and communities with these life-saving programs.