Malaria has been a worldwide health problem for centuries causing between 1.5 to 2.7 million deaths annually, and mostly affecting children aged 5 and under and pregnant women in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) (Phillips, 2001). The discovery of malaria parasites by Laveran in 1880 as well as the finding of mosquitoes as vectors for avian malaria by Ross in 1897, made scientific studies about malaria possible. Between 1898 and 1900, the Italian scientists Grassi, Bignami, Bastianelli, Celli, Golgi and Marchiafava discovered human malaria (Cox, 2010). Malaria has been eradicated from developed countries such as the United Staes and most European countries for decades (Greenwood et al., 2022). However, malaria is returning to developed countries most likely due to climate change. For example, 8 non-traveling cases were found in Florida in 2003 and 5 new cases (4 in Florida and 1 in Texas) in 2023.


This study aimed firstly, to determine the rates illness and death from malaria in Sub-Saharan African countries. Secondly, to identify various factors in this region which maintain endemic malaria illness and death. And thirdly, to make recommendations to malaria problems in Sub-Saharan Africa.


This study used an Ecological quantitative study and compares exposure to malaria and malaria occurrence at population level rather individual. Data from World Health Organization (WHO) malaria case counts and malaria deaths in 2010 and 2020 for 193 countries around the world including the 48 Sub-Saharan African countries, were used to build one spreadsheet, in order to use multiple regression models. The researcher located the most consistent and significant factors for the world and Sub-Saharan Africa, from World Bank, Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), Our World In Data, Database Earth, International Transparency, Global Economy, World FactBook, Statista, and United Nation (UN), controlling for other significant factors, which contribute to malaria illness and deaths.


The results show that, globally, malaria cases increased but deaths decreased. Across the globe, electricity access was important for both malaria cases and malaria deaths. On the other hand, median age and urbanization were the most consistent and significant factors in the Sub-Saharan African region, for both malaria cases and malaria deaths.


This study recommends that urban planning (water drainage, screening doors and windows), and strong family planning (spacing the birth and reducing the number of children per women) may help in controlling and eradicating malaria burden in the Sub-Saharan Africa.

Date of publication

Spring 2024

Document Type




Persistent identifier


Committee members

Dr. William Sorensen (Chair), Dr. Fletcher Njororai, Dr. Madhura Maiya


Master of Science