World Health Organization declares China Malaria-Free

Aizbah KhanWeb Editor

30th Jun, 2021. 04:39 pm
World Health Organization declares China Malaria-Free

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared China malaria-free.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday issued a malaria-free certificate to China, according to a report of international news agency AFP.

China has become the 40th country in the world to be certified malaria-free by the World Health Organization. There is also a list of 61 countries in the world where malaria has never existed or disappeared without any special measures.

“We congratulate the people of China on their recovery from malaria,” said Tedros Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization.

He said that with this announcement, China has joined the ranks of countries that are showing the world that a malaria-free future is a viable goal.

It should be noted that 30 million cases of this disease were reported annually in China in the 1940s, but no case has been reported locally in China for the last three years.

China is the first country in the WHO’s Western Pacific region to be certified malaria-free after more than three decades. The certificate was previously awarded to Australia in 1981, Singapore in 1982 and Brunei in 1987.

Countries, where no local case has been reported for three consecutive years, are eligible for a malaria-free certificate.

Earlier, El Salvador in 2021, Algeria and Argentina in 2019, Paraguay and Uzbekistan in 2018 have achieved malaria-free status.

The WHO says Beijing began exploring where malaria was spreading in the 1950s and countered it with anti-malarial drugs.

Mosquito breeding grounds in the country have been reduced and pesticide spraying in homes has been intensified.

According to the report, in 1967, China introduced a scientific program to find new treatments for malaria, which led to the discovery of Artemisinin in the 1970s.

Later, in the 1980s, China was among the countries that experimented with the widespread use of pesticide nets to prevent malaria. By 1988, 2.4 million nets had been distributed across the country.

According to the report, by the end of 1990, the number of malaria cases in China had dropped to 117,000, while the death toll had dropped by 95%. The number of cases reduced  annually to about five thousand.

China had applied for WHO certification in 2020 after no local case was filed for four consecutive years.

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