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October 10, 2016
Malaria death rate decreases 57% across sub-Saharan Africa

Mapping Plasmodium falciparum Mortality in Africa between 1990 and 2015 has been published by Gething et al in The New England Journal of Medicine.

The authors combined data from the Malaria Atlas Project and the Global Burden of Disease Study to estimate malaria mortality across sub-Saharan Africa on a grid of 5 km² from 1990 through 2015.

The paper estimates that there was an overall decrease of 57% in the rate of death from malaria across sub-Saharan Africa over the past 15 years and identified several countries in which high rates of death were associated with low coverage of antimalarial treatment and prevention programs.

Despite illustrating the progress in reducing the burden of malaria, the paper's maps also reveal large swaths of Africa where estimated malaria mortality remains high and the coverage of prevention and treatment remains low, which shows the potential to save hundreds of thousands more lives by further scaling up malaria control.