Seattle, June 11, 2018 – Malaria No More applauds Paraguay on becoming the first country in the Americas in 45 years to be certified malaria-free by the World Health Organization (WHO). Paraguay’s achievement lays the foundation for achieving a historic moment in the fight against malaria in 2020.
“Paraguay’s success brings us one step closer to a malaria free-world, proving that with the right mix of political commitment, funding, dedication by thousands of community health workers and volunteers and international support, elimination is possible,” said Martin Edlund, CEO of Malaria No More.
Paraguay contributed to Latin America’s success in reducing malaria cases by more than 61 percent from 2000-2015. Argentina, which has started the process to be certified malaria-free by the WHO later this year, also has played a role in progress against the disease. Haiti is among the Caribbean countries still fighting to eliminate malaria, and a dedicated group of partners is committed to working alongside the Haitian Government to eliminate malaria there by 2020. Yet challenges in the region remain, particularly significant increases in malaria cases in countries such as Venezuela.
The Regional Malaria Elimination Initiative, launched in January 2018 by the Inter-American Development Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Carlos Slim Foundation, brings $83.6 million in new funding to the malaria fight in Central America, and is expected to leverage over $100 million in domestic financing and $39 million of existing donor resources across the region by 2022 to ensure malaria remains a top health and development priority despite dwindling numbers of cases.
“As we see a dual track of progress against the disease and a worrying resurgence of malaria cases, Paraguay’s victory against malaria deserves to be celebrated. It reminds us that country-owned efforts will be essential, and that the global community must be united in support of these countries ready to beat malaria by 2020.”
A new WHO report released today shows a diverse group of 21 countries across the world are progressing toward an historic moment in the malaria fight by 2020, putting the world on track to meet the ambitious goal of eliminating malaria from at least 10 new countries by 2020. In addition to Paraguay and Argentina, Algeria and Uzbekistan also may be certified malaria-free later this year.
The WHO report highlights include:
- Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Mexico, and Suriname are the Latin American countries on track to get to zero malaria cases by 2020
- El Salvador and China reported zero malaria cases in 2017 – a first for both countries
- Algeria recorded zero cases for the fifth consecutive year
- Iran, Bhutan, Timor-Leste and Malaysia reported less than 100 local cases
- Saudi Arabia, Nepal and South Korea saw continued decreases in malaria cases between 2016 and 2017
- The remaining countries are off-track to reach zero cases by 2020, but elimination remains possible
For more information or interview requests, contact Michal Fishman at +1 504-220-2792 or Michal.Fishman@MalariaNoMore.org
About Malaria No More
Malaria No More envisions a world where no one dies from a mosquito bite. More than a decade into our mission, our work has contributed to historic progress toward this goal. Now, we’re mobilizing the political commitment, funding, and innovation required to achieve what would be one of the greatest humanitarian accomplishments – ending malaria within our generation. For more information, visit www.malarianomore.org