Venezuela has the highest percentage increase of malaria cases in the world, according to the latest data from the World Health Organization. In fact, the number of cases in the country have increased by a factor of 10 since 2010.
The upward trend in malaria is a reality in several parts of the world, but the Venezuelan situation draws attention. “The increase is real and very worrying,” said Pedro Alonso, WHO director for Malaria Control.
In 2010, the country had recorded 45,000 cases of malaria. By 2016, the rate was already 240,613. However, the data from Caracas was questioned and other estimates put it at 300,000 cases. Last year, the estimated case count is 406, 000.
With the economic collapse in the country, the malaria outbreak is concerning it’s neighbors like Brazil and Colombia as Venezuelan refugees and immigrants pour out of their country.
“In the 1950s, when the WHO launched its first campaigns, Venezuela was the first country to have entire regions declared free of the disease,” he said. “Today, however, it is the largest increase in the world,” Alonso lamented.