25 April 2024: World Malaria Day
New malaria vaccines: what they can and what they cannot change for the global malaria pandemic

After years of stagnation, and more recently, regression due to the effects of Covid-19, drug and insecticide resistance, accelerating climate change, and inflation, the introduction of two malaria vaccines in 2023 represents a major scientific advancement in malaria research and a hope to save many more lives, particularly among children under 5 in moderate to high malaria transmission settings, who bear the highest burden of the malaria pandemic.

On the occasion of World Malaria Day, Friends of the Global Fund Europe published a briefing titled « New Malaria Vaccines: What They Can and Cannot Change for the Global Malaria Pandemic, » providing an overview of the existing evidence and the knowledge yet to be acquired regarding the effectiveness of these vaccines. It also explores initial perspectives on challenges and opportunities for their deployment, and how the large-scale production of malaria vaccines impacts the global malaria architecture and market dynamics.

The briefing exposes the evidence underpinning the fact that vaccines alone cannot replace other existing tools and must complement them. It emphasizes the urgent need to accelerate the deployment of vaccines, as well as other prevention, diagnosis, and treatment tools, to reach the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target of ending malaria by 2030.

Additionally, it highlights the role of global health institutions such the Global Fund which represents 65% of global international funding for malaria control and is the first multilateral provider of grants to health systems, as well as Unitaid and Gavi.

Hélène Berger, Executive Director of Friends of the Global Fund Europe, remarks, « The arrival of new tools to fight malaria, combined with existing ones, brings hope to achieving the goal of eliminating malaria by 2030. Resources dedicated to health in malaria-endemic countries, along with international funding through the Global Fund, will be crucial to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in health, particularly regarding malaria. »




Last key figures on malaria, 2022 (source: WHO):

  • In 2022, there were an estimated 249 million malaria cases and 608 000 malaria deaths in 85 countries.
  • Africa accounts for 94% of malaria cases (233 million) and 95% (580 000) of malaria deaths.
  • Children under 5 accounted for about 80% of all malaria deaths in Africa: Every minute in the world, a child dies from malaria.
  • A total of 4.1 billion dollars were invested for malaria control and elimination, a significantly lower amount than the 7.8 billion dollars estimated by the WHO to be necessary to stay on track for malaria elimination. This gap between investments and necessary resources has continued to increase dramatically in recent years, rising from 2.3 billion dollars in 2018 to 3.7 billion dollars in 2022.
  • The Global Fund represents 65% of international funding for malaria control and elimination.