Despite expanding access to malaria prevention, the World Health Organization, WHO, has warned that more people are getting sick with the disease as over two hundred million new cases were recorded in 2022.
In its 2023 World Malaria Report released at the United Nations climate change conference, COP28, the global health agency warned that over two hundred million new malaria cases were recorded in 2022, an increase of two million from 2021.
The WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the development is primarily due to COVID-19-induced public health disruptions, humanitarian crises, drug and insecticide resistance, and global warming impacts.
The WHO also stated that climate variability can have indirect effects on malaria trends, due to factors such as reduced access to essential malaria services and disruptions to the supply chain of insecticide-treated nets, medicines and vaccines.
“The changing climate poses a substantial risk to progress against malaria, particularly in vulnerable regions.
“Sustainable and resilient malaria responses are needed now more than ever, coupled with urgent actions to slow the pace of global warming and reduce its effects,” Tedros added.
It said that climate change-related population displacement could also lead to increased malaria cases as individuals without immunity migrate to endemic areas.