Indicator 22. Incidence and death rates associated with malaria (MDG Indicator)

Rationale and definition:

The incidence rate of malaria is the number of new cases of malaria per 100,000 people per year. The malaria death rate is the number of deaths caused by malaria per 100,000 people per year.


Data should be disaggregated by age group, sex, geographic location (e.g. urban vs. rural), and income, as well as by causal agents of malaria.1

Comments and limitations:

The quality of the data is particularly sensitive to the completeness of health facility monitoring. In addition, since the symptoms of malaria are similar to those of other diseases, incidences and deaths are sometimes misreported in poorly resourced countries. The invention of rapid diagnostic testing for malaria should be leveraged to improve data quality.

Preliminary assessment of current data availability by Friends of the Chair:


Primary data source:

Administrative data from health facilities are the most reliable, but these are rare in developing countries, so household surveys are often used.

Potential lead agency or agencies:

WHO is responsible for monitoring this indicator at the international level.2

  1. United Nations (2003).

  2. See WHO website on malaria.