World Malaria Day: Reaching zero malaria target
Published: 12:57 PM, 25 April 2021
World Malaria Day today` Photo: Collected
World Malaria Day is being observed today (April 25) all over the world including Bangladesh.
This year, the World Health Organization (WHO) has joined hands with its partner organizations to promote its theme of “reaching the zero malaria target”. On this day, WHO will celebrate the achievement of those countries that are on the verge to eliminate the disease.
Meanwhile, WHO published a new report on April 21 highlighting successes and lessons learned among the “E-2020” group of malaria-eliminating countries.
Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of these countries reported “zero indigenous malaria cases in 2020”, while others made impressive progress in their journey to becoming malaria-free, the WHO said in a report.
According to the report, 8 of the E-2020 member countries reported zero indigenous cases of malaria by the end of 2020. These countries are - Algeria, Belize, Cabo Verde, China, El Salvador, Iran, Malaysia and Paraguay.
Several countries made excellent progress such as Timor-Leste reported only 1 indigenous case, while 3 other countries – Bhutan, Costa Rica and Nepal – reported fewer than 100 cases.
In the six countries of the subregion, the reported number of malaria cases fell by 97% between 2000 and 2020. Malaria deaths were reduced by more than 99% in the same period of time.
In the face of a dual-threat of antimalarial drug resistance and COVID-19, countries of the Greater Mekong subregion have also made major strides towards their shared goal of elimination by 2030.
In 2020, Covid-19 emerged as a serious challenge to malaria responses worldwide. Since the early days of the pandemic, WHO has urged countries to maintain essential health services, including malaria, while ensuring that communities and health workers are protected from Covid-19 transmission.
Ahead of World Malaria Day, the country leaders, frontline health workers and global partners will come together in a virtual forum to share experiences and reflections on efforts to reach the target of zero malaria.
Source: World Health Organisation (WHO)