FP trendsJuly 1, 2021 10:29:40 AMT
The World Health Organization (WHO) has awarded China a malaria-free certificate. According to the WHO website, the status has been reached after 70 years of effort. Although in the 1940s there were 30 million cases of the disease per year, today there is no malaria in the country.
In more than three decades, China has also become the first country to be awarded a malaria-free certificate in the WHO Western Pacific. Previously, the WHO had issued this certificate to Australia in 1981, Singapore in 1982 and Brunei Darussalam in 1987.
The WHO has issued malaria-free certification to up to 40 countries and territories around the world. In 2021, El Salvador received the certificate, while Algeria and Argentina received it in 2019. In 2018, Paraguay and Uzbekistan received a malaria-free certificate.
According to the WHO websiteIn the 1950s, prophylactic antimalarial drugs were given to people who were found to be at risk for malaria.
Insecticides were sprayed in homes and China also sought to reduce areas that could serve as mosquito breeding grounds.
In China, the government launched a nationwide research program called the 523 Project in China in 1967. More than 500 researchers from 60 institutions used this study to discover a core compound of antimalarial drugs called artimalicin.
The country also tested the use of an insecticide-treated network (ITN) to prevent malaria. The number of malaria cases decreased in the area where ITNs were used.
For four consecutive years, when there were no native cases, China applied for WHO certification in 2020. In May 2021, members of the Independent Malaria Eradication Panel reviewed China’s claims and granted them a certificate.
Speaking of developments, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus congratulated Chinese citizens on the release of malaria.
He said: “Their success was earned through hard work and was only achieved after decades of focused and continuous action. With this announcement, China is joining more and more countries that are showing the world that a malaria-free future is a viable goal.”
“Congratulations to China on eradicating malaria,” said Dr. Takeshi Kasai, Regional Director, WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific. “China ‘s relentless pursuit of this important milestone demonstrates how strong political commitment and the strengthening of national health systems can lead to the eradication of a disease that was once a major public health problem.
There are some ways China will ensure that malaria hopes to set up a basic health care package for its residents for free. As part of this package, all Chinese will have access to affordable services to diagnose and treat malaria, regardless of legal or financial status.