How many people die each year from malaria?
There is a wide range of estimates for the total number of deaths caused by malaria, but the World Health Organisation generally reports “around a million” deaths each year from the disease, out of somewhere between 300-500 million cases. In total, it is estimated that 3.3 billion people are at risk from malaria, which is almost half the world’s population!
One reason for the high uncertainty in total numbers of deaths is that many malaria cases go unreported, and those at highest risk are often living in the world’s poorest parts of the world, where health services are patchy and underfunded. Moreover, throughout the world, children are some of the highest risk cases for severe malaria, and deaths are sometimes attributed to other causes which may be confounded by malaria, such as malnutrition, diarrhoea or respiratory infections.
What is certain is that many of those deaths from malaria are entirely preventable, through the use of insecticide treated bednets, improvements in local health infrastructure and encouraging early diagnosis and treatment of malarial episodes.