CS171 Midterm


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What is Malaria

Key Facts & Statistics

The Parasites

Moving Forward

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COPYRIGHT INFO: The above image was found on flaticon.com


The Plasmodium Infection

Malaria, also called plasmodium infection, is caused by the Plasmodium parasite and is transmitted by female Anopheles mosquitoes which bite between dusk and dawn. People infected with malaria often experience fever, chills and flu-like illness at first. Left untreated, the disease can lead to severe complications and, in some cases, death. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 438,000 people died because of malaria in 2015; the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), Global Burden of Disease (GBD) puts this estimate at 620,000 in 2017.

Malaria cases.

The number of malaria cases globally fell from an estimated 262 million in 2000 (range: 205– 316 million), to 214 million in 2015 (range: 149–303 million), a decline of 18%. Most cases in 2015 are estimated to have occurred in the WHO African Region (88%), followed by the WHO South-East Asia Region (10%) and the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region (2%).

Malaria deaths.

The number of malaria deaths globally fell from an estimated 839 000 in 2000 (range: 653 000–1.1 million), to 438 000 in 2015 (range: 236 000–635 000), a decline of 48%.

Most deaths in 2015 were in the WHO African Region (90%), followed by the WHO South-East Asia Region (7%) and the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region (2%).

The malaria mortality rate, which takes into account population growth, is estimated to have decreased by 60% globally between 2000 and 2015.

The history of malaria stretches from its prehistoric origin as a zoonotic disease in the primates of Africa through to the 21st century. A widespread and potentially lethal human infectious disease, at its peak malaria infested every continent, except Antarctica. Its prevention and treatment have been targeted in science and medicine for hundreds of years. Since the discovery of the parasites which cause it, research attention has focused on their biology, as well as that of the mosquitoes which transmit the parasites. For thousands of years, traditional herbal remedies have been used to treat malaria. The first effective treatment for malaria came from the bark of cinchona tree, which contains quinine. Prophylactic quinine was prescribed in malaria endemic areas, and new therapeutic drugs, including chloroquine and artemisinins, were used to resist the scourge. Today, artemisinin is present in every remedy applied in treatment of malaria. After introducing artemisinin as a cure administered together with other remedies, the mortality in Africa went down by a half.


Key Facts

RISK: About 3.2 billion people – almost half of the world’s population – are at risk of malaria.
CASES: 214 million malaria cases reported worldwide in 2015.
INCIDENCE: 37% global decrease in malaria incidence between 2000 and 2015.
MORTALITY: 60% decrease in global malaria mortality rates between 2000 and 2015.

The Choropleth map is done using GeoJson instead of TopoJson since it makes the implementation a lot easier (rather than having to go through multiple layers of information on the africa.topo.json)

→ "Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female mosquitoes."

→ "Young children, pregnant women and non-immune travellers from malaria-free areas are particularly vulnerable to the disease when they become infected."

→ "Malaria is preventable and curable, and increased efforts are dramatically reducing the malaria burden in many places."


Malaria in humans is caused by five species of parasites belonging to the genus Plasmodium, a unicellular eukaryotic obligate of vertebrates and insects.

Click on the nodes to expand / collapse the Plasmodium parasite tree.

Four of these – P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. malariae and P. ovale – are human malaria species that are spread from one person to another via the bite of female mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles. There are about 400 different species of Anopheles mosquitoes, but only 30 of these are vectors of major importance. In recent years, human cases of malaria due to P. knowlesi have been recorded – this species causes malaria among monkeys in certain forested areas of South-East Asia. Current information suggests that P. knowlesi malaria is not spread from person to person, but rather occurs in people when an Anopheles mosquito infected by a monkey then bites and infects humans (zoonotic transmission). P. falciparum and P. vivax are the most prevalent, and P. falciparum is the most dangerous, with the highest rates of complications and mortality. This deadly form of malaria is a serious public health concern in most countries in sub-Saharan Africa.


Progress to elimination.

An increasing number of countries are moving towards elimination of malaria. Whereas only 13 countries were estimated to have fewer than 1000 malaria cases in 2000, 33 countries are estimated to have achieved this milestone in 2015.

Financing of malaria control programmes.
Global financing for malaria control increased from an estimated US$ 960 million in 2005 to US$ 2.5 billion in 2014.


To address remaining challenges in global malaria control and elimination, WHO has developed the Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030. Adopted by the World Health Assembly in May 2015, the strategy provides a technical framework for all endemic countries as they work towards malaria control and elimination. This Global Technical Strategy sets ambitious but achievable goals for 2030, including: reducing malaria case incidence by at least 90%; reducing malaria mortality rates by at least 90%; eliminating malaria in at least 35 countries; preventing a resurgence of malaria in all countries that are malaria-free. To achieve these targets, annual funding for malaria will need to triple over the next 15-year period, from US$ 2.7 billion (current level of spending) to US$ 8.7 billion by 2030.

International travellers could be at risk of malaria infection in 97 countries around the world, mostly in Africa, Asia and the Americas.

Prevention of mosquito bites between dusk and dawn is the first line of defence against malaria. Measures to prevent mosquito bites include sleeping under long-lasting insecticidal nets, and using protective clothing and insect repellents. Depending on the malaria risk in the area to be visited, international travellers may also need to take preventive medication (chemoprophylaxis) prior to, during, and upon return from their travel.

CS171 Midterm

Some images and texts taken from Google / Flaticon.com

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