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“Accelerating the fight against malaria for a more equitable world” – World Malaria Day 2024

World Malaria Day was instituted by WHO Member States during the World Health Assembly of 2007, and it is an occasion to highlight the need for continued investment and commitment to malaria prevention and control, as well as the advances that have already been made. The 2024 theme is “Accelerating the fight against malaria for a more equitable world,” as people living in the most vulnerable situations continue to be disproportionately impacted; additionally, climate change and humanitarian emergencies, including natural disasters and conflicts in malaria-endemic countries, are displacing populations making them vulnerable to the disease.

Since 2010, six countries have been certified malaria-free, and several others are inching closer to obtaining this status; early in January 2024, a third country in the African region was certified by the WHO as a malaria-free country, marking a significant achievement in global health. Now, a total of 43 countries and one territory have been awarded this certification.

Recently, the WHO recommended a new vaccine, R21/Matrix-M, for the prevention of malaria in children. It is the second malaria vaccine recommended, representing a potential high public health impact in places with a particularly high burden.

Research on Malaria has been published recently in our journals, reported in the previous months (links below*) Simian malarias are increasingly being recognized as important emerging zoonoses, being now the major human malaria species in some areas, following the successful elimination of other human malaria species, especially in Southeast Asian countries, which have significantly reduced the number of P. falciparum and P. vivax infection.
Also, as emphasized recently in another paper recently published in our journals (link below**), Malaria burden is primarily owing to the resistance of parasites and vectors to frontline drugs and insecticides, making awareness of factors contributing to parasite resistance to antimalarials within communities crucial as for example concerning the high level of self-medication and gross neglect of certain risk factors.

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