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Malaria is the third largest killer of children under five in the world, claiming more than 1,500 young lives every day, or one child every minute.

Ninety per cent of malaria deaths occur in Africa where malaria accounts for about one in six of all childhood deaths. The disease also contributes greatly to poor growth and development.

Malaria is preventable and curable. Simple measures like insecticide-treated bed nets can help prevent it. A three-day course of treatment can cure it. Access to treatment within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms is critical.

Between 2000 and 2012, the number of deaths caused by malaria was halved in Africa.

This year alone, some 200 million bed nets will be funded for delivery in Africa – one of the highest number ever. But this is hardly enough. Less than 40 per cent of the populations most at risk – i.e. children under the age of five and pregnant women – sleep under a bed net. 

UNICEF is one of the world’s largest global procurers and deliverers of long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets, with over 200 million nets procured between 2000 and 2012 in more than 40 countries.

UNICEF supports the delivery of nets during routine and mass vaccination campaigns and works to scale up the diagnosis and treatment of malaria at the community level.

UNICEF backs national efforts to scale up innovative life-saving approaches such as seasonal malaria chemoprophylaxis, the intermittent administration of full treatment courses of antimalarial medicine to children during the malaria season in areas of highly seasonal transmission.

Administering effective malaria treatment at monthly intervals during this period has been shown to be 75 per cent protective against uncomplicated and severe malaria in children under the age of five. 

Seasonal malaria chemoprophylaxis could keep an estimated 25 million children aged 3-59 months malaria free every year.

Of the $5 billion needed to properly effect malaria prevention and control over the next three years, not even half has been filled. Some $3.7 billion are still needed to fund malaria control needs in countries in sub-Saharan Africa where the disease is still endemic.


To find out more about malaria, please visit:

For further information and interview requests, please contact:
Najwa Mekki, UNICEF New York, +1212 326 7448, nmekki@unicef.org




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