Malaria has become a global problem because the disease is endemic in 109 countries. Over 90% of malaria deaths occur in Africa where around 66% of the population lives in areas of high-risk. In contrast, less than 15% of the global total of malaria deaths occurs in Asia and Eastern Europe.
The African continent is most threatened by malaria because the ecology of the countries situated in tropical zones provide ideal conditions for Anopheles gambiae – the most efficient of the mosquitoes carrying the malaria parasite – to thrive. Additionally, the most deadly species of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, is very common in these countries. Furthermore, poverty and weak local health systems hamper the efforts to control the disease and to treat infected people.