The World Could Be Free of Malaria By 2040

Many in developing economies or tropical countries, where malaria is prevalent, would like to hear this sort of news. The UN and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have given such green light that the entire world would be ridden of malaria by 2040. I was excited reading this and somehow thought that perhaps my children and generations after them will never have to do so much to protect themselves from malaria infections as we did in the past and now. 

Will the world be malaria-free by 2040?

By Emma Luxton, Digital Content Producer, Formative Content


The world could be free of malaria by 2040, according to a paper published by the UN and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

A century ago, malaria existed almost everywhere in the world. The United States and Britain eliminated the disease in the early 1950s, and most other Western countries were malaria-free by 1970.

Currently 107 countries are free from malaria and another 28 are in the elimination stage, meaning they have less than one diagnosed case per 1,000 people per year.

This map shows when malaria is expected to be a thing of the past in each of the countries still affected by the disease. The data is from targets tracked by the Malaria Elimination Initiative (MEI) at the University of California, San Francisco Global Health Group.

1511B64-free of malaria world map

Much of the world is expected to become malaria free in the next decade, including most of South America and Asia. South Africa and Botswana are on target to eradicate the disease by 2018, followed by China and Malaysia in 2020.

It is expected that elimination will progress unevenly through regions and within countries, with eradication taking until 2040 in some African nations. The differences in expected elimination dates are due to factors such as weather, mosquito vector populations, the movement of people and capability of healthcare systems, as well as the problems of effective eradication in areas of armed conflict.

Freeing the world from malaria depends on increasing investment in measures to reduce the rate of infection. These include traditional methods of tackling the disease, such as bed nets treated with insecticide, monitoring and quick diagnosis and treatment, as well as new measures such as drug research, vaccines and insecticides.


Publication does not imply endorsement of views by the World Economic Forum.

Author: Emma Luxton is a Digital Content Producer at Formative Content.

Image: Malaria tests are seen on a table. REUTERS/Astrid Zweynert.

2 thoughts on “The World Could Be Free of Malaria By 2040

  1. It beats my imagination why the push to completely eliminate the malaria scourge is being helped from outside the continent of Africa where it is prevalent.Why 2040?Why not yesterday?Something is definitely amiss that nobody is telling.Africa should be leading the global effort in the search for a permanent solution to the scourge that kills more than 300,000 persons annually,predominantly children due largely to poverty and lack of access to treatment and medication mostly in the rural areas.Political leadership of the health sector is the missing link plus the will to do all it can to help the most people.If it took Europe and America less than one hundred years to completely eliminate malaria,modern technology and medical advances ought to cut this lead time by half;in which case Africa ought to be saying or ought to have said bye-bye to malaria some ten,twenty years ago.The continent is still young some would say.I beg to differ.a conspiracy of sorts lies at the core of this delay. MNC pharmacos’ are in the mix of this conspiracy.An early elimination closes the pipeline of revenues running into billions of dollars annually from drugs manufacture.The human beings don’t count for anything,more so Africans who are deemed expendables.The solution therefore remains that African medical research must take the lead,funds must be deployed into the search for a permanent vaccine,not tomorrow but like yesterday.The stats are scandalous.

    • Could you believe that Nigeria, in the 70s, was the biggest producer of biological products that were used to completely eliminate malaria in mosquitoes? I came across this scientific article in one scientific journal while I was studying in Europe. I was flabbergasted.

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