April 25 is recognized annually as World Malaria day and this year the fight against malaria has yielded some fruit as numbers are down for the first time in decades. The World Health Organization shared statistics which indicate that the goal to eliminate malaria from 10 countries by 2020 is achievable.
Particularly encouraging was the fact that the European region reported no indigenous cases of malaria, down from 90,000 cases last year.
In 2015, a WHO assembly began a push to eliminate malaria from at least 35 countries by the year 2030. Mortality rates from mortality have declined in one of the most hard hit regions- Africa- with numbers down by 66% .
Dr Pedro Alonso, Director of the WHO Global Malaria Programme praised the positive work done by some of the countries where the numbers were down; “WHO commends these countries while also highlighting the urgent need for greater investment in settings with high rates of malaria transmission, particularly in Africa. Saving lives must be our first priority.”
We need to work smarter and harder to #EndMalariaForGood.
— WHO African Region (@WHOAFRO) April 25, 2016
The WHO has said it will continue to push for the financial and political commitment needed to put an end to malaria.