Zero malaria: a mirage or reality for populations of sub-Saharan Africa in health transition

The global burden of malaria continues to be a significant public health concern. Despite advances made in therapeutics for malaria, there continues to be high morbidity and mortality associated with this infectious disease. Sub-Saharan Africa continues to be the most affected by the disease, but unfortunately the region is burdened with indigent health systems. With the recent increase in lifestyle diseases, the region is currently in a health transition, complicating the situation by posing a double challenge to the already ailing health sector. In answer to the continuous challenge of malaria, the African Union has started a "zero malaria starts with me” campaign that seeks to personalize malaria prevention and bring it down to the grass-root level. This review discusses the contribution of sub-Saharan Africa, whose population is in a health transition, to malaria elimination. In addition, the review explores the challenges that health systems in these countries face, that may hinder the attainment of a zero-malaria goal.