Baldwyn Torto, Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
ThSeventeen percent of the global infectious diseases are vector-borne which results in more than 700,000 deaths annually. Malaria ranks highest among these diseases, causing over 400,000 deaths yearly, mainly in children under 5 years of age. However, over 90 % of the global malaria burden disproportionately affects sub-Saharan Africa. A substantial gain in malaria control and consequent reduction in malaria deaths has been achieved between 2000 and 2015 attributed to a combination of interventions including long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs), indoor residual spraying (IRS), prompt diagnosis and treatment with artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTS). Spurred by the progress, the WHO Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030 proposes to reduce malaria deaths by at least 40% by 2020 and malaria incidence and mortality rates by at least 90% by 2030 and eradication by 2040. Surprisingly, malaria reduction has stalled or plateaued, with the levels of malaria associated mortality and morbidity remaining the same in 2015, 2016 and 2017..