Thursday, 18 April, 2024
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Cape Verde reaches malaria-free milestone

Cape Verde has been declared malaria-free for the first time in 50 years, after not having reported a single case of local transmission in three years, a major achievement for the region.

Experts have described this as a major achievement.

Malaria is a huge killer on the continent. In 2022, 580 000 people in Africa died from the disease, amounting to 95% of fatalities worldwide.

Situated off the coast of West Africa, Cape Verde has taken years to reach this point by strengthening its health systems and increasing access to diagnosis and treatment of cases.

Surveillance officers have been detecting cases early, as well as controlling mosquitoes.

Cape Verde’s plan for malaria control has also ensured free care and diagnostic services for international travellers and migrants, with the aim of stemming the tide of cases imported from mainland Africa.

“This success reflects the hard work and dedication of countless health professionals, collaborators, communities and international partners. It is testimony to what can be achieved through collective commitment to improving public health,” Cape Verde’s health minister told the BBC.

Health experts say the achievement sets a big example for other small countries on the continent, showing that containment and elimination policies can work.

Malaria was once detected on all of Cape Verde’s nine inhabited islands, but in recent years could only be found on one, Sáo Tiago – where the final efforts were concentrated.

The last country in sub-Saharan Africa to be declared malaria-free was Mauritius in 1973. Algeria, in North Africa, achieved this status in 2019.

 

BBC article – Cape Verde reaches malaria-free milestone (Open access)

 

See more from MedicalBrief archives:

 

WHO warns that world could lose malaria fight as cases rise

 

WHO’s second malaria vaccine will save millions of lives

 

Eradicating malaria in southern Africa requires collaborative effort

 

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