Malaria elimination a step closer

Since 2009, no locally transmitted cases of Plasmodium falciparum, the most common and fatal malaria type, have been recorded in the WHO European Region. This is one of the main findings of the “World malaria report 2010”, released today.

The report highlights the European Region’s progress towards meeting the World Health Assembly targets for malaria, to be achieved by 2015. Turkmenistan was certified as malaria free in October 2010; malaria now affects only six countries in the Region: Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan.

The Region is drawing closer to the ultimate goal of the regional strategy: to interrupt the transmission of malaria and eliminate the disease by 2015. The number of reported cases has dropped over 99% in the last 15 years; only 285 locally acquired cases were reported in 2009. Today, all the affected countries have active national programmes for malaria elimination, and they remain fully committed to the principles of the Tashkent Declaration: “The Move from Malaria Control to Elimination” in the WHO European Region.

Areas and countries where malaria has been eliminated have turned their attention to maintaining their malaria-free status.