Paraguay Certified as Malaria-Free
The World Health Organization certified Paraguay as malaria free in an announcement on Monday, June 11, 2018. In order to qualify as malaria free, Paraguay had to demonstrate at least three years without indigenous malaria transmission as well as the capacity to prevent the return of malaria. Paraguay is the first country in the Americas to be declared malaria-free in 45 years.
The achievement is particularly impressive given Paraguay is one of the poorer countries in South America. The country launched a five-year malaria elimination plan in 2011, but then faced challenges through deforestation and irresponsible irrigation methods. With support of the Global Fund to Fights AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Paraguay was able to train health workers in disease prevention, suspected cases identification, accurate diagnosis, and prompt response.
Paraguay requested malaria-free certification in 2016, then followed additional recommendations from WHO and submitted its national elimination report in early 2018. Click here to read more.