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WHO Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016–2030 (2021 Update)

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The WHO Global technical strategy for malaria 2016-2030 – adopted by Member States in May 2015 – is designed to guide and support all malaria-affected countries as they work to reduce the human suffering caused by the world’s deadliest mosquito-borne disease. The strategy sets four global targets for 2030, as well as interim milestones to track progress. The 2030 targets are:

  • reduce malaria case incidence by at least 90%;
  • reduce malaria mortality rates by at least 90%;
  • eliminate malaria in at least 35 countries;
  • prevent a resurgence of malaria in all countries that are malaria-free.

As highlighted in the most recent edition of the World malaria report, there has been mixed progress towards the strategy’s interim 2020 milestones. While the goal of reducing case incidence and mortality rates by 40% was not met, the 2 other milestones – eliminating malaria in at least 10 countries and preventing the re-establishment of malaria – have been reached.

On 27 May 2021, the World Health Assembly adopted an updated Global technical strategy for malaria 2016-2030. The updated strategy reflects lessons learned and experiences from the last 5 years, including a plateau in global progress and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Strategy refresh

The updated strategy is fully aligned with WHO’s Thirteenth General Programme of Work (2019-2023) and Triple Billion targets, as well as with the Sustainable Development Goals and the global universal health coverage (UHC) agenda, a key driver of the Organization’s work worldwide. It calls for better integration of malaria services into broader health delivery systems and the strengthened capacity of countries to generate, analyse and use malaria-related data. The revised strategy also calls for the inclusion of malaria control in Health-in-All-Policies, with the aim of facilitating a multi-sector sectoral response.

The strategy’s 5 guiding principles have been reordered to place a greater emphasis on the critical role of country ownership. A 6th principle was added to reflect that successful malaria responses are underpinned by resilient health systems. Other guiding principles focus on the need for strong surveillance systems, equity in access to health services, innovation in tools and approaches, and interventions that are tailored to local conditions.