Friday, September 9, 2016

World Health Organisation declares Sri Lanka malaria-free

WHO hails country’s ‘truly remarkable’ achievement after no locally transmitted cases of disease for three-and-a-half years

 A mosquito. Sri Lanka was among the most malaria-affected countries in the mid-20th century. Photograph: Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

The World Health Organisation has certified that Sri Lanka is a malaria-free nation, in what it called a truly remarkable achievement.

WHO regional director Poonam Khetrapal Singh said in a statement that Sri Lanka had been among the most malaria-affected countries in the mid-20th century.

But, the WHO said, the country had begun an anti-malaria campaign that successfully targeted the mosquito-borne parasite that causes the disease, not just mosquitoes. Health education and effective surveillance also helped the campaign.

“Sri Lanka’s achievement is truly remarkable,” the WHO statement said. “The change in strategy was unorthodox, but highly effective. Mobile malaria clinics in high-transmission areas meant that prompt and effective treatment could reduce the parasite reservoir and the possibility of further transmission.”

It said no locally transmitted cases of malaria had been recorded in the country for three-and-a-half years.


To prevent parasites re-entering the country, the anti-malaria campaign is working with local and international partners to maintain surveillance and screening, it said.


Via The Guardian