Malaria eliminated in Algeria and Argentina

25 Mai, 2019, 12:13 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Mosquito

"Last year, Uzbekistan and Paraguay received certification as malaria-free countries, and this assembly will be joined by Argentina and Algeria, congratulations to both countries", said the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

This means that there has not been a single case of anyone catching the disease in either country over the past three years.

This is important news since malaria remains one of the world's leading killers, with an estimated 219 million cases and over 400,000 malaria-related deaths reported in 2017.

360,000 children are expected to take the injectable vaccines within a year after the pilot is also rolled out in Ghana and Kenya where children aged between 5 and 17 months would be injected.

Algeria, where the disease was first discovered in humans in 1880 by the French physician Dr. Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran, is only the second country in its African region to reach malaria-free status.

"Algeria's subsequent success in beating the disease can be attributed primarily to a well-trained health workforce, the provision of malaria diagnosis and treatment through universal health care, and a rapid response to disease outbreaks".

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A statement released by the agency on Wednesday said both countries were presented the malaria-free certification having successfully "interrupted the indigenous transmission of the disease". Now Algeria has shown the rest of Africa that malaria can be beaten through country leadership, bold action, sound investment and science.

World Health Organization said there were now 38 countries and territories that have been declared free of the disease, which has been making a comeback globally.

He said, "their success serves as a model for other countries working to end this disease once and for all".

In the 1970s, Argentina set out to eliminate malaria. Elimination was achieved by training health workers to spray homes with insecticides, diagnosing the disease through microscopy, and effectively responding to cases in the community.

There are a total of 38 countries that malaria has been eradicated or never existed.

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