Scientists at the University of Leicester say a discovery they've made is the first step in developing a drug that would cure malaria.
The disease infects more than 200 million people worldwide and accounts for nearly 600,000 deaths per year.
In Africa, a child dies every 45 seconds from the disease.
Working with the London School of Hygiene and tropical Medicine, the scientists have found out how malaria survives in our blood. They have managed to identify a key protein that, if targeted, stops the disease.
Malaria is caused by a parasite that enters out bodies through the bite of an infected mosquito. Once in the blood stream, the parasites can thrive on red blood cells.
According to the World Health Organisation, malaria infects more than 200 million people across the globe, causing nearly 600,000 deaths annually.
The next step for the Leicester scientists is to present their research to large pharmaceutical companies and the Bill and Melinda Gates fund for Medicines for Malaria Venture who support drug development , in particular, for malaria.