2 June 2017 – Health ministers from the South-East Asia Region and development partners gathered last week in Geneva to celebrate the achievement of malaria elimination in the Maldives and Sri Lanka. The event, co-hosted by the two countries alongside the 70th World Health Assembly, provided a platform to share best practices, strategies and lessons learned, with a view to accelerating progress across the Region.
While important gains in malaria control have been reported in many countries, more work is needed to eliminate the disease region-wide. Speaking at the event on 22 May, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia, said: “This is a public health problem that WHO South-East Asia faces that just cannot be ignored. More than 230 million people in the Region are still at high risk of malaria – close to a quarter of the world’s high-risk population.”
World Malaria Day 2017
1.5 million confirmed cases of malaria were reported in the Region in 2015. Between 2010 and 2015, malaria cases dropped by an estimated 54% and the mortality rate by 46%. In 2015 and 2016 respectively, the Maldives and Sri Lanka were certified as malaria-free.
Despite successes, enhancing prevention using our effective vector control tools and closing the gaps in coverage is critical to ending malaria for good. World Malaria Day is marked every year on April 25.
December 2016 – The World Malaria Report 2016 summarizes information received from malaria-endemic countries and other sources, and updates the analyses presented in the 2015 report. The World Malaria Report is WHO’s flagship malaria publication, released each year in December. It assesses global, regional and country malaria trends, highlights progress towards global targets, and describes opportunities and challenges in controlling and eliminating the disease. Most of the data presented in this report is from 2015.
Colombo, 5 September 2016 – Sri Lanka’s achievement is truly remarkable. In the mid-20th century it was among the most malaria-affected countries, but now it is malaria-free.
Sri Lanka’s road to elimination was tough, and demanded well-calibrated, responsive policies. After malaria cases soared in the 1970s and 80s, in the 1990s the country’s anti-malaria campaign adjusted its strategy to intensively target the parasite in addition to targeting the mosquito.
Facts and Q&As
Policies & strategiesAide-mémoire Malaria - South-East Asia Region 2014–2020
Regional situation overview
Malaria Unit World Health Organization
Regional Office for South-East Asia Indraprashtha Estate
Mahatma Gandhi Marg
New Delhi 110 002, India
Tel: +91 11 2337 0804
Fax: +91 11 2337 8510