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This year, we celebrate the 12th annual Malaria Day in the Americas. This is a crucial point to gather government, nonprofit, and private sector partners together to continue progress made in the region to end malaria for good. Between 2000 and 2015, the global malaria incidence and mortality rate was was reduced by 37% and 60%, respectively. During the same period, the Region of the Americas malaria cases and deaths decreased by 62% and 61%.

The Americas are Ready to Beat Malaria - but progress has stalled, and has been uneven. The rise of malaria cases reported in several countries in 2016 and 2017 is a powerful sign suggesting that the work is not over yet and much more needs to be done.

Urgent action is required to get the global fight against malaria back on track. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is calling for expanded coverage of proven tools that we know work – tools that have already dramatically lowered the global burden of malaria, while also increasing investment in the research and development of new tools to accelerate the pace of progress.

In the Americas, the progress has been mixed and uneven. This spring the Americas celebrated a monumental milestone with the World Health Organization (WHO) certification of Paraguay as malaria-free in June 2018. Argentina is expected to follow soon, and Belize, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, and Suriname were all included by WHO in the group of 21 countries worldwide with the potential to eliminate local transmission of malaria by 2020. However, the Region showed an overall increase in cases of 71% between 2015 and 2017, influenced primarily by the continuing epidemic in some countries and specific areas.

Effective malaria control and elimination is inextricably linked to the strength of health systems. Strong health systems can deliver effective safe, high-quality interventions when and where they are needed and assure access to reliable health information and effective disease surveillance. At the same time, integrating malaria treatment, prevention and surveillance into existing health programs and activities in endemic countries will ensure that funding earmarked for malaria control and elimination contributes to the development, expansion and continuous improvement of national health systems.

Elimination of local malaria transmission is being championed and accomplished people from communities working on the front lines. We must act more decisively and locally to impact malaria in areas with the greatest burden.

In June 2018, the World Health Organization certified that Paraguay had successfully eliminated malaria. Argentina is expected to follow early next year, and El Salvador had zero malaria cases in 2017.

Belize, Costa Rica, and Suriname have had less than 100 indigenous cases in 2017 while and Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico and Suriname have also driven their cases burdens closer to zero and are all included in a list of 21 countries with the potential to eliminate the disease in the next few years.

Currently, 18 of the 19 malaria endemic countries have indicated commitment toward malaria elimination: Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela.

Of the 15 nonendemic countries which remain receptive and vulnerable to the disease, 10 have been updated regarding their risk and are in the process of reinforcing their capacities.

Since 2009, thirty Malaria Champions of the Americas have been recognized as best practices in the Region: Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Suriname.

This year, Alto Rio Solimões Amazonas, Brazil, Machadinho D’Oeste, Rondonia, Brazil, the Ministry of Health Malaria Program in Suriname and Paraguay’s Programa Nacional del Control del Paludismo are being honored as Malaria Champions for their capacity building effort towards malaria elimination and prevention of re-establishment.

In 2015, the Malaria Zero Alliance was launched with the bold goal of eliminating malaria from the island of Hispaniola, which includes Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, partners include the Ministry of Public Health and Population of Haiti, the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance of the Dominican Republic, the Pan American Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC Foundation, The Carter Center, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. This year, a groundbreaking malaria elimination pilot program was launched in the Grand'Anse region, which bears 60% of the country's malaria burden and has malaria incidence rates 15 times the rest of the country.

This year, the Inter-American Development Bank, in collaboration with, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and other partners, created a new financing and technical assistance mechanism – the Regional Malaria Elimination Initiative (RMEI). The RMEI will help the Belize, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama to scale up effective surveillance, prevention and treatment on the road to elimination by 2022.

#MalariaDayAmericas #Endmalaria #MalariaChampions

  • Today is the 12th annual Malaria Day In the Americas! 132 million people in the Americas live at risk of this deadly – yet preventable – disease. Now is the time to stand together and increase our commitment to #endmalaria. #MalariaDayAmericas
  • On #MalariaDayAmericas, @pahowho calls for urgent action to get the global fight against #malaria back on track. We need to expand access to core malaria-fighting tools to meet the 2030 global health targets. #EndMalaria
  • We need: political commitment, financial resources, and new & improved tools to #endmalaria. The good news? The Americas are ready! #MalariaDayAmericas
  • This #MalariaDayAmericas, together we need to remind leaders at all levels of the need for greater investments in & expanded coverage of malaria services for all at risk of the disease. #HealthForAll #EndMalaria
  • Since 2009, 30 Malaria Champions of the Americas have been recognized. They have come from Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, and Suriname. The Americas are #readytobeatmalaria!
  • Malaria Day in the Americas is an opportunity to take stock of progress & call for renewed commitment to fight this centuries-old disease. The Ameriacs are #ReadyToBeatMalaria just this year Paraguay was certified malaria-free! #MalariaDayAmericas

Recognized by the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) and the Malaria Champions of the Americas Secretariat as the 2018 Malaria Champions, the honored programs were selected based on innovative efforts that demonstrated success in malaria prevention, control, elimination, or prevention of re-establishment, and significantly contributed to overcoming the challenges of malaria-endemic communities, countries, and the region. This year’s honorees were:

  • Brazil: (Alto Rio Solimões Amazonas): Control of Malaria in Indigenous Areas
  • Brazil: (Machadinho D’Oeste, Rondonia): On the Way to Elimination in Machadinho D’Oeste
  • Suriname: Ministry of Health Malaria Program
  • Paraguay: National Malaria Control Program
  • Congratulations to malaria programs in #Brazil and #Suriname for being honored as Malaria Champions for their capacity building effort towards malaria elimination and prevention of re-establishment. Your work is crucial in ending malaria for good! #EndMalaria #MalariaDayAmericas
  • Since 2015, #malaria cases among indigenous peoples of Alto Rio Solimões Amazonas decreased by 70% through innovative & culturally sensitive capacity building in malaria diagnosis and treatment. #HealthForAll #MalariaDayAmericas
  • The Ministry of Health Malaria Program in #Suriname partners with leaders across various levels and stakeholders for capacity building to #EndMalaria. We’re celebrating them and their accomplishments this Malaria Day in the Americas!
  • Machadinho D’Oeste – Rondonia, #Brazil reduced malaria cases by 44% between 2016 and 2017 by strengthening integration of malaria surveillance and control actions with Primary Care. #HealthForAll #MalariaDayAmericas
  • This year, the Ministry of Health Malaria Program in Suriname & Paraguay’s Programa Nacional del Control del Paludismo, as well as two programs in Brazil, are being honored as Malaria Champions for their work towards malaria elimination! Felicidades! #MalariaDayAmericas
  • Today we are celebrating Malaria Day in the Americas, a day that brings together the malaria community and celebrates progress in the fight against malaria. We need to build on the momentum of today and encourage people in the Region to become strong and involved advocates against the disease. Join us today!
  • Since 2009, 30 Malaria Champions of the Americas have been recognized. This year, the honorees came from Brazil and Suriname. We're thrilled to recognize these communities that have worked so hard toward ending malaria in their countries. The Americas are Ready to Beat Malaria!
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