GENEVA, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Global efforts to control and eliminate malaria have saved an estimated 3.3 million lives since 2000, but more needs to be done, said a report released Wednesday by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The World Malaria Report 2013 showed that increased political commitment and expanded funding have helped to reduce incidence of malaria by 29 percent globally, and by 31 percent in Africa between 2000 and 2012.
Malaria mortality rates have been reduced by 45 percent globally and by 49 percent in Africa over the same period, and mortality rates in children in Africa were reduced by an estimated 54 percent, said the report.
However, there were an estimated 207 million cases of malaria, which caused approximately 627,000 deaths in 2012, it said.
An estimated 3.4 billion people continue to be at risk of malaria, mostly in Africa and south-east Asia. Among them, 1.2 billion are at high risk. In high-risk areas, more than one malaria case occurs for every 1,000 population, according to the WHO.
The report said that malaria prevention suffered a setback after its strong build-up between 2005 and 2010 mainly due to inadequate funding.
An estimated 5.1 billion U.S. dollars is needed every year for universal coverage of interventions. However, in 2012, the global total of international and domestic funding for malaria was 2.5 billion U.S. dollars, it said.
WHO said it is currently developing a global technical strategy for malaria control and elimination for the 2016-2025 period.