Malaria is endemic on all inhabited islands in Vanuatu, with the exception of Aneityum (where it was eliminated in the late 1990s) and Futuna (which lies south-east of the Buxton line, the natural limit for Anopheles mosquito vectors). The malaria burden is highest in the northern islands, especially Torba, while being close to elimination in the southern province of Tafea. Vanuatu achieved an 85% decrease in reported malaria cases between 2000 and 2014, from 6,768 cases to 982 cases, with zero deaths for 3 consecutive years. 

P. vivax, infections are reported year-round, along with seasonal transmission of P. falciparum. The only known malaria vector is Anopheles farauti. Vanuatu has revised its malaria strategy to strengthen surveillance and response, increase vector control coverage, and improve access and quality of diagnostics and treatment in all provinces. The country aims to achieve malaria-free certification between 2025 and 2028. 

Quick Facts

  • 87% of the total population are at risk (total population: 0.26 million)
  • 982 cases of malaria and 0 deaths in 2014 (last death reported in 2011)
  • 3.79 Annual Parasite Index (cases/1,000 population/year)
  • Dominant malaria species: P. vivax (88%)
  • Elimination goal: zero indigenous cases and zero deaths by 2025