Worldwide, it is estimated that malaria kills more than one million people each year and accounts for a loss of approximately $12 billion annually in gross domestic product in Africa alone.
Approximately 40% of the world’s population – mostly those living in the world’s poorest countries – are at risk of malaria. 90% of malaria deaths occur in Africa. Children and pregnant women are most at risk because of their reduced immunity to the malaria parasite. In areas of epidemic malaria, all persons are at risk of serious illness and death. The drain on the physical and financial resources of people carrying the disease, as well as the often ineffective attempts to respond to it, is well documented.
Prevention of Malaria
For those individuals at risk of malaria, insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) are the most practical and effective means of protecting the largest percentage of populations. Consistent use of ITNs has been shown to decrease severe malaria by 45%, reduce premature births by 42% and cut all-cause child mortality by 15-60%. In most settings, ITNs are unquestionably the most effective way for people to protect themselves from malaria.