World Malaria Day, established by the World Health Assembly at its 60th session in May 2007, is commemorated each year on April 25. According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) World Malaria Report 2019, an estimated 228 million cases of malaria (95% confidence interval [CI]: 206–258 million) occurred worldwide and most of the cases (213 million, 93%) were in the WHO African Region in 2018. There were an estimated 405,000 deaths from malaria, of which 272,000 (67%) were children aged under 5 years old. There were no global gains in reducing new infections over the period of 2014 through 2018, and nearly as many people died of malaria in 2018 as the year before (1).
On World Malaria Day 2020, the WHO joins the RBM Partnership to End Malaria in promoting “Zero Malaria Starts with Me”, a grassroots campaign that aims to keep malaria high on the political agenda, mobilize additional resources, and empower communities to take ownership of malaria prevention and care (2).
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the malaria community must remain committed to supporting the prevention of malaria infection, illness, and death through preventive and case management services, while maintaining a safe environment for patients, clients, and staff. Deaths due to malaria and its comorbidities (anemia, undernutrition, etc.) must continue to be prevented. The National Health Commission of China has announced China’s 2020 National Malaria Day theme: “Eliminating malaria and containing COVID-19: co-mitigation of imported cases and re-establishment” (3).