World closer to eliminate malaria: WHO
April 26, Geneva: A year after the World Health Assembly resolved to eliminate malaria from at least 35 countries by 2030, a new World Health Organization (WHO) report released on Monday – on World Malaria Day – shows that the goal, although ambitious, is achievable.
In a press release, WHO said that in 2015, all countries in the WHO European region reported, for the first time, zero indigenous cases of malaria, down from 90,000 cases in 1995. “Our report shines a spotlight on countries that are well on their way to eliminating malaria,” said Pedro Alonso, Director of the WHO Global Malaria Programme. “WHO commends these countries while also highlighting the urgent need for greater investment in settings with high rates of malaria transmission, particularly in Africa. Saving lives must be our first priority.”
Outside the WHO European region, eight countries reported zero cases of the disease in 2014: Argentina, Costa Rica, Iraq, Morocco, Oman, Paraguay, Sri Lanka and United Arab Emirates.
Another eight countries each tallied fewer than 100 indigenous malaria cases in 2014, and a further 12 countries reported between 100 and 1,000 indigenous malaria cases in 2014, according to the agency.
The Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030, approved by the World Health Assembly in May 2015, calls for the elimination of local transmission of malaria in at least 10 countries by 2020.
WHO estimates that 21 countries are in a position to achieve this goal, including 6 countries in the African region, where the burden of the disease is heaviest.
The Oslo Times