What is Malaria?


214 million cases in 2015 [1]
438,000 deaths
3.2 billion people at risk

Malaria is the leading parasitic cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, especially in developing countries where it has serious economic and social costs. Malaria is thought to slow annual economic growth by 1.3% in endemic areas with high prevalence. The economic cost of malaria in Africa alone is estimated at US$12 billion every year.

Malaria kills one child every one minute in sub-Saharan Africa and is the leading parasitic cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. 3.2 billion people are at risk and while effective treatments exist, they have important limitations, including widespread drug resistance. DNDi and its partners have developed two inexpensive, efficacious, field-adapted treatments.


Malaria is present in over 95 countries and threatens almost half of the world’s population. In sub-Saharan Africa, where it is the single largest cause of death for children under five, malaria kills nearly one child every minute – approximately 1,300 children every day.


Transmitted from person to person by the bite of anopheline mosquitoes, malaria is caused by the Plasmodium parasite. Four species are involved: P. falciparum, P. malariae, P. vivax, P. ovale.& P. falciparum is the main cause of severe clinical malaria and death.


Malaria begins as a flu-like illness 8-30 days after infection. Symptoms include fever (with or without other signs or symptoms such as headache, muscular aches and weakness, vomiting, diarrhea). Typical cycles of fever, shaking chills, and drenching sweats may then develop. Death may be due to brain damage (cerebral malaria), or damage to vital organs.

Patient treatment needs

Patients in malaria-endemic countries need inexpensive, efficacious, and field-adapted drugs.

Fact sheet

   DNDi Malaria Projects Update





[1] World Malaria Report, WHO 2014
[2] WHO Fact Sheet, updated April 2016