Global targets

Last update: 25 January 2019

The Global Technical Strategy for Malaria

The WHO Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016–2030 (GTS) – adopted by the World Health Assembly in May 2015 – provides a technical framework for all malaria-endemic countries. It is intended to guide and support regional and country programmes as they work towards malaria control and elimination.

The Strategy sets ambitious but achievable goals for 2030, including:

  • Reducing malaria case incidence by at least 90%
  • Reducing malaria mortality rates by at least 90%
  • Eliminating malaria in at least 35 countries
  • Preventing a resurgence of malaria in all countries that are malaria-free

Near-term milestones for 2020 include reductions in malaria case incidence and death rates of at least 40% and the elimination of malaria in at least 10 countries.

This Strategy was the result of an extensive consultative process that spanned 2 years and involved the participation of more than 400 technical experts from 70 Member States.

Progress towards the goals and targets of the GTS is summarized each year by WHO in the World malaria report. According to the latest report, published in November 2018, the world is not on a trajectory to achieve the Strategy’s 2020 milestones for reductions in case incidence and mortality. No significant gains were made in reducing the number of malaria cases worldwide in the period 2015 to 2017. The estimated number of malaria deaths in 2017 stood at 435 000, a similar number to the previous year.

To respond to this challenge, WHO and the RBM Partnership to End Malaria have catalysed a new approach to intensify support for countries that carry the highest burden of disease – a joint effort with partners and donors. The “High burden to high impact” approach, launched alongside WHO’s latest World malaria report, is founded upon 4 pillars: political will to reduce malaria deaths; strategic information to drive impact; better guidance, policies and strategies; and a coordinated national malaria response.

The Sustainable Development Goals

Together with HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and other neglected tropical diseases, malaria control is included under Goal 3 Target 3.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aims to “end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases” by the year 2030. With respect to malaria, WHO interprets Target 3.3 as the attainment of the goals of the Global Technical Strategy.

Reaching the GTS targets will contribute to the broader health-related goals of SDG 3, which are to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. Advances in malaria control will also contribute to and benefit from the achievement of other SDGs, particularly Goal 1 (end poverty in all its forms everywhere), Goal 4 (ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all), Goal 5 (achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls), Goal 8 (promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all) and Goal 10 (reduce inequality within and among countries).

Millennium Development Goal 6

The malaria-specific target of the 2000 Millennium Development Goals (MDG 6 target C) called for halting and beginning to reverse the global incidence of malaria by 2015. This target was achieved, with a 37% decline in new cases reported over a 15-year time frame. During the same period, malaria mortality rates decreased by 60% worldwide. An estimated 6.2 million malaria deaths were averted globally between 2000 and 2015.

Malaria efforts have also contributed to progress towards MDG 4, which called for reducing child mortality rates in Africa and around the world. Between 2000 and 2015, the malaria mortality rate among children under 5 fell by 65% worldwide and by 71% in Africa.

Key documents