India recorded three million fewer cases of malaria in 2017 compared to the year before, registering a decline of 24%, the World Health Organization said on Monday.

It was the only “high-burden country” to report a decline in the number of cases, the organisation said in its World Malaria Report 2018. Eleven countries that accounted for 70% of all malaria cases and deaths in 2017 were categorised as “high-burden”, with all but India located in sub-Saharan Africa.

India recorded 4% of all malaria cases globally in 2017. Only Nigeria (25% of the cases), Democratic Republic of the Congo (11%) and Mozambique (5%) reported more. Globally, there were 219 million cases in 2017, an increase of two million since 2016, the report said. There was “no significant progress in reducing global malaria cases” between 2010 and 2017, it added. In 2010, 239 million cases had been recorded.

The incidence rate of malaria rose in all regions between 2010 and 2017 except for Southeast Asia, the report said. In the region, the rate of population at risk declined from 17 per 1,000 persons in 2010 to seven per 1,000 seven years later. In Africa, the incidence rate remained at 219 cases per 1,000 persons for the second consecutive year.

Globally, the incidence rate remained at 59 cases per 1,000 persons for the third straight year. It was 72 in 2010.

Malaria deaths

Deaths due to malaria declined from an estimated 6,07,000 in 2010 to 4,51,000 in 2016 and 4,35,000 in 2017. Children under five accounted for 2,66,000 of the deaths in 2017.

Nearly 80% of global malaria deaths in 2017 took place in the WHO African Region and India.

Mortality due to malaria has declined in all regions except the WHO Region of the Americas since 2010, the report said. However, the rate of decline has slowed since 2015.