World Malaria Day is celebrated on April 25 annually to mark successes in the fight against malaria, highlight the responsibility we all have to end malaria within a generation and urge leaders to step up the fight and get us closer to a malaria-free world. Over the past two decades we’ve made great progress in the malaria fight, saving more than 7 million lives and preventing over 1 billion malaria cases.
World Malaria Day 2021: Reaching the zero malaria target
World Malaria Day 2021 will unify and build on the ‘Zero Malaria Starts with Me’ movement and the ‘Draw the Line Against Malaria’ youth focused campaign. This year’s theme, “Zero Malaria – Draw the Line Against Malaria”, will explore and connect malaria elimination and malaria in high-burden settings.
The objectives for this year’s World Malaria Day are:
- Highlight the successes of countries in the malaria fight.
- Inspire a new group of countries that have the potential to eliminate the disease by 2025.
- Demonstrate that zero malaria is within reach for all countries
In 2019, there were an estimated 229 million cases of malaria and 409 000 malaria-related deaths in 87 countries. Children under the age of 5 years in sub-Saharan Africa continued to account for approximately two thirds of global deaths from malaria.
Malaria elimination certification
Certification of malaria elimination is the official recognition by WHO of a country’s malaria-free status. WHO grants this certification when a country has proven, beyond reasonable doubt, that the chain of indigenous malaria transmission has been interrupted nationwide for at least the past 3 consecutive years.
A country must also demonstrate the capacity to prevent the re-establishment of malaria transmission. A national surveillance system capable of rapidly detecting and responding to malaria cases (if they were occurring) must be operational, together with an appropriate programme to prevent re-establishment of transmission.
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