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E20 Initiative reports 4 Asian countries free from Malaria

E20 Initiative reports 4 Asian countries free from Malaria

Four countries from Asia — China, Iran, Malaysia and Timor-Leste — and one from Central America — El Salvador — reported no indigenous cases of malaria in 2018, according to the World Health Organzation (WHO).

 

The countries were part of the global health body’s E-2020 initiative, launched in 2016, working in 21 countries, spanning five regions, to scale up efforts to achieve malaria elimination by 2020.

What is the E-2020 initiative?

In May 2015, the World Health Assembly endorsed a new Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030, setting ambitious goals aimed at dramatically lowering the global malaria burden over this 15-year period, with milestones along the way to track progress.

A key milestone for 2020 is the elimination of malaria in at least 10 countries that had the disease in 2015. To meet this target, countries must report zero indigenous cases in 2020.

According to a WHO analysis published in 2016, 21 countries have the potential to eliminate malaria by 2020.

Malaria

Contracted through the bite of an infected mosquito, malaria remains one of the world’s leading killers. It accounted for an estimated 219 million cases from 87 countries and over 400,000 related deaths in 2017.

Over 60 per cent of fatalities were among children under five years, and caused 266,000 of all malaria deaths worldwide.

India

India (4 per cent) was among the five countries, the others being — Nigeria (25 per cent), Democratic Republic of the Congo (11 per cent), Mozambique (5 per cent), and Uganda (4 per cent) — that accounted for nearly 50 per cent of all malaria cases worldwide.

The country was also among the 11 countries — 10 in Africa (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda and United Republic of Tanzania) — that reported approximately 70 per cent of all malaria cases (151 million) and deaths (274,000).

Among these countries, only India reported progress in reducing its malaria cases in 2017 (24 per cent reduction in cases) compared to 2016, according to the report.

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