Each year, WHO’s World malaria report provides a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of trends in malaria control and elimination across the globe. This year’s report includes, for the first time, a dedicated chapter focused on the intersection between climate change and malaria.
As described in the report, climate change is one of many threats to the global response to malaria. Millions of people continue to miss out on the services they need to prevent, detect, and treat the disease. Conflict and humanitarian crises, resource constraints and biological challenges such as drug and insecticide resistance also continue to hamper progress.
Taken together, these threats are undermining gains in the global fight against malaria. In 2022, the global tally of malaria cases reached 249 million – well above the estimated number of cases before the COVID-19 pandemic, and an increase of five million over 2021.
The 2023 World malaria report delves into the nexus between climate change and malaria. Changes in temperature, humidity and rainfall can influence the behaviour and survival of the malaria-carrying Anopheles mosquito. Extreme weather events, such as heatwaves and flooding, can also directly impact transmission and disease burden. Catastrophic flooding in Pakistan in 2022, for example, led to a five-fold increase in malaria cases in the country.