Progress with certification of malaria elimination in Turkmenistan and Armenia

When a country has zero locally acquired malaria cases for at least three consecutive years, it can request WHO to certify its malaria-free status.

In May 2009, at the request of the Government of Turkmenistan, the Director General of WHO expressed her support to the country in its efforts towards initiating the process of certification of malaria elimination, and technical programmes in WHO headquarters and the Regional Office for Europe were requested to provide the necessary assistance. During 2009-2010 WHO/Europe and the Global Malaria Programme/HQ provided the requested assistance in formulating and implementing a plan of action for certification, and a number of malaria experts recruited by WHO visited the country. As a result, by May-June 2010, the Turkmen Government prepared the required documentation with clear and convincing evidence that malaria transmission has been interrupted throughout the country. An evaluation team made up of two independent experts visited the country in June-July 2010 in order to verify the documents, make site visits and examine other relevant issues. The evaluation team prepared a final report and recommended WHO to grant the certification of malaria elimination to Turkmenistan. At present, the final report is undergoing a critical review by a wider group of experts.

In March 2010, Armenia backed up by the Director General of WHO to initiate the process of certification as a malaria-free country, formulated a plan of action for certification. At present WHO/Europe works closely with the Armenian Government to prepare the required documentation.