JAKARTA, May 8 (Xinhua) -- The World Health Organization said that more than one million people out of 500 million cases die of malaria per year, Subhash R. Salunke, the organization representative to Indonesia, said.
The representative said that malaria had become a major health problem in the world, particularly in Africa and some Asian countries.
"So it is a serious public health problem now,"he told Xinhua after a commemoration of the World Malaria Day conducted by the Indonesian government here in the capital of Jakarta.
"The death toll could be more than one million people per year in the world," said Salunke.
The representative said that the infectious disease always attacked those in remote areas, in which the data of casualty and cases could not always be recorded.
On the same occasion, Indonesian Health Minister Siti Fadilah Sufari said that in average, over 38,000 Indonesian people die on the disease out of 15 million cases per year.
The minister said that the endemic could affect 73.6 percent of the Indonesian land.
In his speech, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said that Indonesia had successfully decreased the fatality rate of the disease for the last three years.
He said in 2005, the death rate was 0.92 percent of the total cases, in 2006 the figure was 0.42 percent, and last year, 0.2 percent.
"We want to make it be zero in the future," President Susilo said.
Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease. Usually, people get malaria by being bitten by female Anopheles mosquito.