Posted: Thursday, February 25, 2021. 10:45 am CST.
By BBN Staff: The first Central American country to achieve the malaria-free status is El Salvador, Mirage reports.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has certified the country malaria-free.
The certification comes after 50 years of commitment from the Salvadoran government and people to end the disease.
“Malaria has afflicted humankind for millennia, but countries like El Salvador are living proof and inspiration for all countries that we can dare to dream of a malaria-free future,” said Dr.Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.
Whenever a country has proven that the chain of indigenous transmission has been interrupted nationwide for at least the previous three consecutive years, that country can gain the certification.
In 1996, El Salvador registered a malaria outbreak. After that, the country committed to reducing the malaria burden.
Between 1990 and 2010, the number of malaria cases declined from more than 9000 to 26. The country has reported zero indigenous cases of the disease since 2017.
“For decades, El Salvador has worked hard to wipe out malaria and the human suffering that it generates. Over the years, El Salvador has dedicated both the human and financial resources needed to succeed. This certification today is a life-saving achievement for the Americas,” said Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), WHO’s regional office for the Americas.
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