Ground Report | New Delhi: China got victory over malaria; The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday declared China free from malaria. Efforts were being made in China to eliminate this disease completely for the last seventy years.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “We congratulate the Chinese people on their recovery from malaria. Their success is the result of hard work that has come after decades of sustained goal-oriented efforts. Join the list of those trying to tell the world that a malaria-free future is an achievable goal.”
China got victory over malaria
In the 1940s, about 30 million malaria cases were reported in China every year. Then efforts were made by the government to control and eradicate it. As a result of such continuous efforts, its cases started declining permanently.
The World Health Organization says China began distributing anti-malarial drugs to high-risk areas decades ago. Along with this, the breeding areas of mosquitoes were systematically reduced and arrangements were made to provide mosquito nets on a large scale.
A scientific program was created in 1967 to find a new treatment for malaria, which led to the discovery of artemisinin. Today artemisinin is the mainstay of malaria treatment.
China was one of the first countries to begin large-scale trials of insecticidal mosquito nets to prevent malaria in the 1980s. With the help of these efforts, malaria cases decreased from 30 million to about 11 lakh in the 1990s, and deaths also declined by about 95 percent.
Since 2003, China has intensified its efforts in this direction. After which the annual number of victims reached 5,000.
If there has been no outbreak of mosquito-borne diseases in a country for three consecutive years, then such countries can apply for a certificate of freedom from malaria with the World Health Organization. They will also have to present evidence that they have the capability to control them in the event of a future pandemic.
China has not reported a single case of malaria in the past four years and applied for a certificate of immunity to the World Health Organization last year. The experts had visited the country in May this year to verify the malaria-free status and preparedness to prevent future outbreaks. It was only after the experts confirmed all these things that China was given a certificate of freedom from the disease.
Malaria status in the world
Malaria is a deadly disease caused by mosquito bites. These parasites reach the human body through the sting of female Anopheles mosquitoes. There are five such parasites that cause malaria in humans. Two of these – P falciparum and P vivax are the most dangerous. According to an estimate by the World Health Organization, there were 229 million cases of malaria in the world in 2019. 94 percent of these cases were from Africa.
According to the World Health Organization, so far about 40 countries have become free from this disease. China is the first country in the Western Pacific to achieve this feat in 30 years. Other countries that recently achieved status were El Salvador, Algeria, Argentina, Paraguay and Uzbekistan.