About 3.3 billion people - half of the world's population - are at risk of malaria. Every year, this leads to about 250 million malaria cases and nearly one million deaths. People living in the poorest countries are the most vulnerable.
Malaria is caused by a parasite called Plasmodium, which is transmitted via the bites of infected mosquitoes. In the human body, the parasites multiply in the liver, and then infect red blood cells.
Symptoms of malaria include fever, headache, and vomiting, and usually appear between 10 and 15 days after the mosquito bite. If not treated, malaria can quickly become life-threatening by disrupting the blood supply to vital organs. In many parts of the world, the parasites have developed resistance to a number of malaria medicines.
Key interventions to control malaria include: prompt and effective treatment with artemisinin-based combination therapies; use of insecticidal nets by people at risk; and indoor residual spraying with insecticide to control the vector mosquitoes.
TDR related research
TDR supports research on this disease. For more information, visit these research sections:
New guide for strengthening community health care worker programmes
Review finds operational research opportunities to control and eliminate malaria
TDR publications and articles
WHO informal consultation on fever management in peripheral health care settings: A global review of evidence and practice
Pre-referral rectal artesunate treatment of childhood malaria in the community
Malaria Rapid Diagnostic Test Performance - Results of WHO product testing of malaria RDTs: Round 4 (2012)
Community case management of malaria in urban settings