Red blood cells infected with the Plasmodium falciparum parasite. Plasmodium is the parasite that triggers malaria in people. Gary D. Gaugler/Science Source hide caption

toggle caption Gary D. Gaugler/Science Source

A health official takes a blood sample from a child's finger for a malaria test at a clinic in Bong Ti Lang village on the Thai-Myanmar border. Narong Sangnak/EPA /LANDOV hide caption

toggle caption Narong Sangnak/EPA /LANDOV

By ensuring vaccines are invented and distributed, Bill Gates says, his foundation is dramatically reducing the number of childhood deaths in poor countries. Marie McGrory/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Marie McGrory/NPR

A pregnant Somali woman gets a tetanus shot at a clinic in Mogadishu in 2013. The vaccination initiative was launched by the GAVI Alliance, UNICEF and the World Health Organization. Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty Images

Yonta, 6, rests with her brother Leakhena, 4 months, under a mosquito bed net in the Pailin province of Cambodia, where deaths from malaria have decreased sharply in the past two decades. Paula Bronstein/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

Children get tested for malaria at a clinic near the Myanmar border in Sai Yoke, Thailand. Drug-resistant strains of the parasite have appeared in the region over the past few years. Surkree Sukplang/Reuters /Landov hide caption

toggle caption Surkree Sukplang/Reuters /Landov

A health worker administers the malaria vaccine at a clinical trial in Kilifi, Kenya. Joseph Okanga/Reuters /Landov hide caption

toggle caption Joseph Okanga/Reuters /Landov

A Cambodian boy gets tested for malaria at a clinic along the Thai-Cambodian border in 2010. Three strains of drug-resistant malaria have emerged from this region over the past 50 years. Paula Bronstein/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

A red blood cell infected with malaria parasites (blue) sits next to normal cells (red). NIAID/ hide caption

toggle caption NIAID/

More than a hundred different species of Anopheles mosquitoes can transmit malaria to people. Adam Cole/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Cole/NPR

An extract of sweet wormwood has been used in China for thousands of years to treat malaria, but being able to make mass quantities of the extract has been elusive, until now. Sarah Cuttle/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Sarah Cuttle/Getty Images

Chiara Andolina, a malaria researcher in Thailand, feeds her mosquito colony by letting the insects bite her right arm. These mosquitoes are picky and will dine only on live human blood. Ben de la Cruz/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Ben de la Cruz/NPR

Mosquitoes like this one can carry the virus that causes dengue fever, which may become a bigger problem in some regions as biodiversity is lost. James Gathany/CDC Public Health Image Library hide caption

toggle caption James Gathany/CDC Public Health Image Library

Shaken with splash of malaria drug, please. The original James Bond martini is made with gin, vodka and Kina Lillet, a French aperitif wine flavored with a smidge of the anti-malaria drug quinine. Karen Castillo Farfan/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Karen Castillo Farfan/NPR

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor