As no cases of malaria were detected in three consecutive years, Argentina was also declared malaria-free – the second country in North and South America after Paraguay in 45 years to eradicate the disease, affecting more than 400,000 people per year In Algeria, the malaria parasite was first discovered in humans nearly a century and a half ago, and that was an essential milestone in responding to the disease, said Matshidiso Moeti, Regional Director of the WHO for Africa. Algeria has shown the rest of Africa that malaria can be defeated through country leadership, bold action, a sound investment, and science.
Algeria is the third African nation to become malaria-free, after Mauritius in 1973 and Morocco in 2010, with economic benefits, said Abdourahmane Diallo, head of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) partnership against malaria.
WHO says French physician Dr Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran discovered the malaria parasite in Algeria in 1880, the country is now rid of the deadly disease. Following the latest malaria case report in 2013, Algeria has joined 37 other countries worldwide that have been declared malaria-free by the World Health Organization (WHO).
In the 1960s, malaria was the primary health challenge for the country, with an estimated 80,000 cases per year. But thanks to well-trained health workers, malaria diagnostics and universal healthcare treatment and rapid response to outbreaks of disease, the country has reached a milestone to achieve and maintain zero malaria cases. Algeria offered free diagnosis and treatment within its borders so that no one was left behind in getting the services they needed to prevent, detect and cure the disease. Over the past ten years, improved monitoring has ensured that every last case of malaria can be quickly identified and treated, according to a report from the World Health Organization.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has also declared Argentina malaria free, almost fifty years ago that the country wanted to eliminate malaria. Their success serves as a model for other countries that want to put an end to this disease once and for all. The Director-General of the WHO issued the certificates to representatives of Algeria and Argentina in the margins of the 72nd session of the World Health Assembly.
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