The end of malaria could possibly be closer than expected. With the recent success of Sri Lanka officially declaring itself as Malaria free after withstanding three years without a single case of infection. The World Health Organization (WHO) Reported a 60 percent decrease in global malaria mortality rates between 2000 and 2015.
According to the Guardian, “Public health officials said 13 countries, including Argentina and Turkey, had reported no cases for at least a year and may well follow the success of Sri Lanka…” Sri Lanka was near ending malaria 50 years ago and it has finally been able to do so becoming a catalyst for other countries.
The local transmission of malaria is slowly but surely being reduced as countries invest more in treatment and prevention strategies. Earlier this year the WHO estimated that “21 countries are in a position to achieve this goal, including six countries in the African Region.”
The Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016–2030 is currently in place. Four crucial points make up the plan, which includes reducing the rate of new malaria cases by at least 90 percent, reducing malaria death rates by at least 90 percent and eliminating malaria in at least 35 countries.
This plan was devised before the triumphant victory of Sri Lanka over malaria. Recently the members of the WHO of the African Region have adopted a framework that goes hand-in-hand with the goals outlined by the Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016–2030.
Within the document issued by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) titled President’s Malaria Initiative Strategy 2015-2020 the optimism to end malaria within this time period is evident. The document goes on to state “Innovative approaches to deploying existing tools also are being tested, including presumptive insecticide rotation to mitigate the spread and intensification of resistance.”
The U.S. has made it a priority to partake in ending malaria along with the other countries trying to terminate the disease from its country by 2020.
– Mariana Camacho