What is the trend of malaria infection and its forecasted figure?
This is quite similar to a couple of other questions in the forum, and I have in part copied the response below from those earlier posts. It is hard to know whether the number of cases of malaria are increasing or decreasing. For one, a large number of cases are not reported every year, making accurate estimates difficult. Secondly, the world’s population is growing, and it is growing at the greatest rate in Africa, where the majority of malaria cases occur. As such, even if the proportion of people with malaria decreases over time, due to health initiatives such as distributing long-lasting insecticide treated bednets or free treatment, the total number of cases may still rise.
Another problem we face in the fight against malaria is climate change: as the world’s patterns of rainfall and temperatures change, new areas become susceptible to malaria transmission, putting more people at risk. Similarly, different countries have had different levels of success in controlling and preventing malaria; the USA famously eliminated malaria in the 1950s, and many other countries, particularly in Latin America and South-East Asia, look like that might be a realistic goal in the near future. However, other parts of the world, notably Africa, still suffer from a huge burden of malaria infection, and the number of cases does not seem to be declining.
Having said that, what is very encouraging is that deaths from malaria seem to be decreasing on a global scale. Malaria No More is an organisation dedicated to eliminating deaths from malaria by the year 2015; more information about their methods and some of their success stories can be found on their website (www.malarianomore.org).