Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) has announced that it targets to achieve 'zero malaria' in 2030 following a significant decline in the infection-related cases, according to officials. Data from RBC indicates that malaria-related deaths have declined to 51 cases from 663 in 2016. In 2016, patients with severe malaria were 17,941 but that number went down to 1,316 in 2022-2023. ALSO READ: Rubavu residents urged to remain vigilant as Polio circulates in DR Congo Dr. Jean Louis Ndikumana Mangara, Director of Malaria Prevention Unit at Rwanda Biomedical Center, points out that a decrease of approximately 85 percent has been observed since 2016. “According to our latest data, we are on the right path towards eradicating Malaria. We have seen that cases have dropped down approximately 85 percent since 2016,” he noted. Ndikumana says the significant decline follows various efforts put in place including indoor residual spray, use of mosquito nets and mindset change in local communities on eradicating malaria. For example, a research initiative conducted in July 2023 in the Western and Northern Provinces indicated positive progress despite the region being at high risk of increased malaria cases as temperatures rose on July 30, 2023. Speaking to The New Times, local residents in Musanze and Rubavu districts said that awareness on prevention of malaria had been increased and results can be seen in their respective villages. Clarisse Murekatete, Kabogobogo Village Chief, Cyabararika Cell, Muhoza Sector, said the population's awareness on malaria prevention has improved. “Understanding of malaria is high in our village. It is observed when we’re providing mosquito nets to people where almost everyone shows up. Again, we conduct mobilization for women who are pregnant, those with babies that they should take health services as a priority.” Jeannette Nsengiyumva, a mother of three in Rubavu district said the availability of health services provided at cell level by health counsellors has helped in reducing malaria. ALSO: Hope for 'malaria-free world' as WHO approves new vaccine Official data by The World Health Organization (WHO) shows that more than 600,000 people globally were killed by malaria in 2021 while malaria cases increased by two million to 234 million in the African region. The number of deaths however decreased from 593,000 to 544,000 in 2020.