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ARGENTINA AND ALGERIA HAVE BEEN CERTIFIED MALARIA-FREE!

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Algeria and Argentina are joining the ranks of countries certified malaria-free. Algeria will become the 3rd African nation to reach this goal. Argentina is the second country to be certified in the Americas in the last 45 years (after Paraguay) and the 9th country to be certified in the region since 1962. The World Health Organization awarded certification on May 22 at a ceremony during the World Health Assembly.

  • Morocco was certified in 2010 and before that, Mauritius was the only African country to be certified (1973).
  • Paraguay celebrated last year as the first to be certified in the Americas after Cuba in 1973.
  • These recent certifications mean that the malaria map keeps shrinking. The number of malaria-free countries (106) outnumbering malaria endemic countries (88) is growing.
  • Argentina and Algeria are the 36th and 37th countries to achieve certification. Another 69 countries do not have malaria.
  • Between 2015 and 2018, a diverse set of four more countries were certified malaria-free: Maldives in 2015, Sri Lanka in 2016, and Uzbekistan and Paraguay in 2018.

Countries achieving malaria-free certification benefit from stronger health systems, freeing up of resources to address other health and development priorities, and greater economic gains.

  • Achieving zero malaria cases frees up resources for countries to focus on other health and development challenges, improving the country’s bottom line.
  • A critical success factor for certification is maintaining strong surveillance systems and cross-border collaboration, which helps protect against the spread of other infectious diseases.
  • Without malaria, a country’s citizens are healthier, increasing children’s ability to go to school and reach their full potential, and parents’ productivity, ultimately impacting the country’s economy.
  • Countries without malaria open the door to new investment by private sector companies that don’t have to consider the impact of malaria on employee productivity.

Algeria’s and Argentina’s achievements prove that with persistent country leadership and dedicated resources, malaria elimination is possible. Their success offers inspiration and important lessons for other countries to follow. Key success factors include:

  • Universal health care: both countries provided free diagnosis and treatment within their borders, ensuring no one was left behind in getting the services they needed to prevent, detect and cure the disease.
  • Effective cross-border collaboration: to reduce transmission in border areas and rapidly respond to outbreaks that crossed international boundaries.
  • Strong surveillance systems: improved surveillance allowed for every last case of malaria to be rapidly identified and treated.

According to the 2018 World Malaria Report, more countries than ever – 46 – have fewer than 10,000 malaria cases, moving them closer to the goal of malaria elimination. Reaching malaria-free status is a critically important public health and sustainable development goal.

  • The WHO expects that at least 10 countries that had endemic malaria in 2015 will achieve at least one year of zero malaria cases by 2020, a goal set by the malaria community in its 2016-2030 global strategy.
  • China and El Salvador reported zero malaria cases for the first time in 2017.
  • Celebrating and learning lessons from these victories is critical at a time when malaria cases are rising in the highest burden countries for the first time in more than a decade.

Cross-border collaboration and a strong focus on disease surveillance have allowed Argentina to promptly detect malaria cases and prevent transmission.

The successful collaboration between Argentina and Bolivia has significantly contributed to this achievement and is an example for the region.

Argentina is the second country to be certified in the Americas in the last 45 years (after Paraguay) and the 9th country to be certified in the region since 1962. El Salvador, Belize, Costa Rica, Suriname, Mexico, and Ecuador are following this path and are close behind.

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. Together, these factors enabled the country to reach – and maintain – zero malaria cases.

“Algeria is where the malaria parasite was first discovered in humans almost a century and a half ago, and that was a significant milestone in responding to the disease,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti WHO Regional Director for Africa.

“Now Algeria has shown the rest of Africa that malaria can be beaten through country leadership, bold action, sound investment and science. The rest of the continent can learn from this experience.”

#EndMalaria #HealthForAll #StepUpTheFight

@who @opsargentina @pahowho @msalnacion @endmalaria @drtedros @globalfund @WHOAFRO @mirtaroses @ALMA_2030 @DirOPSPAHO @dourahsante @msalnacion @oms_algerie @MoetiTshidi

  • Congratulations #Argentina for eliminating #malaria!👏 👏 👏 Today we celebrate the many years of work of a country and its thousands of health workers in combating malaria. Learn more at: www.paho.org #HealthforAll
  • Congratulations #Algeria for eliminating #malaria! Algeria is the 3rd African nation to reach this goal. 🎉🎉🎉 Their dedication inspires the global malaria community to continue pushing for progress to #EndMalaria for good and ensure #HealthForAll
  • Today, @WHO certified Argentina & Algeria as malaria-free. Progress is possible – and we must continue the commitment and investment to be the generation that can #EndMalaria for good!
  • #Paraguay 🇵🇾 and #Argentina 🇦🇷 have eliminated #malaria and more countries are soon to follow. Elimination is a building block to help ensure #HealthforAll.
  • Algeria will become the 3rd African nation to reach malaria elimination. This is such an exciting stepping stone in the fight to #endmalaria for good. Congratulations, #Algeria!
  • Today, Argentina was certified malaria-free by @WHO! The leadership of Belize, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, and Suriname puts the entire region of the Americas on the path towards a malaria free world, and we are excited to see which country will be next!
  • The success of Algeria and Argentina in eliminating malaria shows that progress is possible when governments, partners, private sector, and communities maintain their commitments and the resources to #endmalaria. Together, we can eliminate malaria and ensure #HealthForAll.
  • Felicitaciones, Argentina! #Argentina es el segundo país en las Américas certificado como libre de #malaria en los ultimos 46 años.
  • Félicitations à l'Algérie, la troisième nation africaine à atteindre l'objectif d'élimination du #paludisme!
  • Mabruk, Algeria! #Algeria is the third African nation to achieve the goal of malaria elimination. #EndMalaria
  • The malaria map continues to shrink. Today, the number of countries and territories declared malaria-free increased to 38 thanks to #Algeria and #Argentina. #China and #El Salvador could be next! http://bit.ly/2WSFR1e
  • Today, we are celebrating the elimination of malaria from Argentina and Algeria! Their achievements prove that with persistent country leadership and dedicated resources, malaria elimination is possible. Congratulations to Argentina and Algeria!
  • At this year's World Health Assembly, the World Health Organization certified Argentina as malaria-free. Argentina is the second country in the Americas to be certified malaria-free in the past 45 years, and progress is continuing: El Salvador, Belize, Costa Rica and Suriname are following this path and are close behind. The Americas are ready to beat malaria -- and we are ready to join them.
  • Algeria is the 3rd African nation in history to reach malaria elimination. Their dedication inspires the global malaria community to continue pushing to end malaria in countries in sub-Saharan African and around the globe. Progress is possible when governments, partners, the private sector, and communities come together for a common cause. Congratulations, Algeria!
  • Algeria’s and Argentina’s certifications show us that elimination is possible, and offer important lessons for other countries to follow. China and El Salvador are close behind, having reported 0 malaria cases for the first time in 2017. By 2020, at least 10 countries that had endemic malaria in 2015 will achieve at least one year of zero malaria cases, according to the WHO. We’re cheering on China, El Salvador, Belize, Bhutan, Costa Rica, Iran, Malaysia and Suriname to be next.

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