Country in Focus - Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, nearly 70 percent of the population lives in areas at risk of malaria. However, the epidemiology of malaria in Ethiopia contrasts with that of most other African countries. Malaria transmission in many areas is low and unstable, which results in low host immunity within communities. This increases the likelihood that malaria infections will rapidly progress to severe malaria and that malaria epidemics will affect all age groups as opposed to mainly young children. In most parts of Ethiopia, peak malaria transmission coincides with the planting and harvesting season. As a result, a majority of the malaria burden falls on older children and working adults in rural agricultural areas, which impacts the country's economy. However, thanks in large part to prompt access to malaria case management including laboratory-based diagnosis in remote rural areas, malaria morbidity and mortality have improved dramatically over the last decade. For the first time in over fifteen years, during the period between July 2013 and June 2014, malaria was not listed among the top ten causes of inpatient mortality for all age groups, including children less than five years of age.