The yearly report from the World Health Organization emphasizes the increasing risk of malaria attributed to climate change.

The World Health Organization’s yearly report underscores the escalating threat of malaria due to shifts in climate patterns. In this annual malaria report released by the World Health Organization (WHO), a special section is dedicated to exploring the nexus between the disease and climate change, marking the first inclusion of such a focus. The report characterizes this juncture as a pivotal moment brimming with both opportunities and challenges.

Highlighted within the report is the role of climate change as just one among various perils confronting the global fight against malaria. Despite concerted efforts, millions of individuals still lack access to essential services required for preventing, detecting, and treating this disease. Challenges persist due to factors such as conflicts, humanitarian crises, limitations in resources, and biological hurdles like drug and insecticide resistance.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic substantially disrupted malaria-related services, leading to a surge in both the incidence and mortality rates of malaria. This exacerbation has further stalled progress in combating the disease. The report issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) emphasizes the perilous prospect of losing ground in the battle against malaria. It highlights a significant rise in cases—approximately 5 million more compared to the previous year in 2022—surpassing global targets set for containment.

Disruptions stemming from the pandemic and extreme weather events associated with climate change have impeded efforts to combat malaria in recent times. Instances of malaria surged notably in regions that experienced the most extreme weather conditions.

For instance, the report points out that floods in Pakistan last year triggered a five-fold increase in malaria cases within the country.

There is a glimmer of hope offered by two forthcoming malaria vaccines expected to become available next year. However, the report also underscores a substantial shortfall in funding for the response effort. While $4.1 billion was invested globally in combatting malaria in 2022, the report asserts that approximately $7.8 billion was required to adequately address the challenge.

In 2022, there was a noteworthy upsurge of five million additional malaria cases worldwide compared to the preceding year, with five countries bearing the brunt of these surges. Pakistan recorded the most substantial increase, with around 2.6 million cases in 2022 compared to 500,000 cases in 2021.

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