Murray CJ. Lancet. 2012;379:413-431.
Efforts to increase access to bed nets and
artemisinin-based drugs have made a significant dent in malaria rates, but the
rates remain high, according to the latest data.
Christopher Murray, MD, PhD, and colleagues from
the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of
Washington in Seattle examined all available data from 105 countries from 1980
to 2010 to assess malaria mortality rates in adults and children using national
and subnational vital registration and verbal autopsy studies.
The study reported that global malaria deaths
increased from 995,000 in 1980 to a peak of 1,817,000 in 2004, and
decreased to 1,238,000 in 2010. The 2010 rate from this study is nearly
double of that estimated by WHO.
The estimates of malaria mortality were
substantially different than those previously published, the
Malaria deaths outside of Africa have steadily
decreased, from 502,000 in 1980 to 104,000 in 2010, but deaths in Africa saw a
dramatic increase from 493,000 in 1980 to 1,613,000 in 2004, according to the
There was an approximate 30% decrease in malaria deaths
in Africa in 2010, mainly due to increased efforts from organizations such as
the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, but the continent
continues to struggle with the mortality burden of malaria. Researchers said
the rates of worldwide malaria deaths are closely related to patterns in
The IHME data suggest that malaria deaths in 2010 among
children were much higher than previously estimated 524,000 deaths
compared with the 91,000 estimated by WHO, and 24% of total child deaths in
sub-Saharan Africa vs. the 16% previously calculated.
Our findings show that the malaria mortality
burden is larger than previously estimated, especially in adults, the
researchers wrote, adding that the median proportion of deaths in those adults
was 76% and 69%, respectively, in Asia and the Americas. There has been a
rapid decrease in malaria mortality in Africa because of the scaling up of
control activities supported by international donors. Donor support, however,
needs to be increased if malaria elimination and eradication and broader health
and development goals are to be met.
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant