Million Cases of Malaria in 2022
Deaths in 2022
Children dying every day


Malaria remains one of the most important infectious diseases. Malaria, caused by Plasmodium parasites, remains one of the most devastating infectious diseases worldwide, imposing a terrible burden of morbidity and mortality in endemic regions

The Facts

  • In 2022, there were 249 million cases of malaria in the world, resulting in 608,000 deaths in 87 countries (WHO 2023 World Malaria report).  

  • Two thirds of these deaths were children under the age of five.  

  • More than 95% of global malaria cases occur in African regions, where malaria is responsible for 1 out of 5 deaths in children under five years of age.  

  • That is one child dying from malaria every two minutes, or 720 children every day. 

Impact to lives

Malaria also devastates lives by causing disability and loss of productivity, negatively impacting economies and compounding the effects of poverty. 

The Center for Disease Control estimates “direct costs (for example, illness, treatments, premature death) of at least $12 billion per year. The cost in lost economic growth is many times that.”

Children under five

Among the human malaria parasite species, Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) is the most deadly, responsible for most malaria-related mortality, especially among pregnant women and children under the age of five (World Health Organization, 2023a).


Over a century of work on control and eradication has failed to eliminate Malaria. There are currently no approved licensed malaria vaccines.

Resource limits

While some vaccine candidates have shown promise in the field, all methods in use to date suffer from one or more of these serious barriers: 

  1. Modest or inconsistent efficacy. 

  2. Poor durability of protection. 

  3. Logistical hurdles that are insurmountable in practice.

  4. A cost of goods that is unrealistic for use in resource-limited environments where malaria is endemic.

Ongoing barriers

Results in the field, together with data from animal models and in vitro work, show that today’s vaccines using single antigens (engineered or otherwise) or repeated doses of whole organisms are unlikely to overcome the barriers listed above.

WHO's goal

The World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Malaria Vaccine Technology Roadmap calls for a next-generation vaccine to achieve at least 75% efficacy over a two-year period against Plasmodium falciparum.