The World Health Organization (WHO) has congratulated China and awarded the Asian nation with a malaria-free certification after a 70-year mission that saw it reduce its case numbers from 30 million to zero.
Announcing China’s success at eliminating the disease, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that “we congratulate the people of China on ridding the country of malaria” after achieving this “hard-earned” victory from “decades of targeted and sustained action.”
China joins the growing number of countries that are showing the world that a malaria-free future is a viable goal.
The achievement makes China the first country within the WHO Western Pacific Region to secure a malaria-free certification for more than 30 years, following Australia in 1981, Singapore in 1982 and Brunei in 1987.
To secure this title, a country has to have reported at least three consecutive years with no new domestic cases of the virus, providing evidence that is rigorously examined and showing they have implemented measures to prevent it re-emerging.
Responding to its successful elimination of malaria, foreign ministry Wang Wenbin stated that “the CCP and the Chinese government have always prioritized safeguarding people’s health, safety and prosperity,” praising the country’s work as a “great contribution” to “health and global human rights progress.”
The WHO has listed 40 countries, including China, as malaria-free, with the most recent previous addition being El Salvador earlier in 2021. Separately, the health body lists another 61 nations where there have been either no cases of the disease or it was eradicated without any need for action by the government.
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