World Malaria Day 2012: Armenia highlights efforts to prevent re-introduction of malaria transmission

On 25 April 2012, the Ministry of Health of Armenia organized a workshop dedicated to World Malaria Day. 

The workshop was opened by the Head of the State Hygiene and Anti-Epidemic Inspectorate, who described the extensive and successful efforts taken by Armenia to achieve its certification as a malaria-free country by WHO in 2011. As a result of great political commitment, national leadership and international support, Armenia has been successful in decreasing its malaria burden by stopping local transmission and introduction from abroad. Since 2006 no indigenous cases of malaria have been registered in Armenia, thereby making it eligible for the malaria-free status. 

The Acting Head of the WHO Country Office in Armenia also spoke at the workshop, highlighting the importance of the malaria-free status for international recognition of Armenia, tourism and economic development. It is now imperative that the country sustain this status by preventing re-introduction of malaria transmission. The Head of the Analytical-Statistical Service of the Ministry of Health presented the history of malaria elimination in Armenia, stressing the importance of intersectoral collaboration in combating and eliminating malaria.  

The workshop concluded with the presentation of Ministry of Health certificates of appreciation to WHO, the Ministry of Territorial Administration and selected Ministry of Health colleagues who greatly contributed to the malaria elimination activities in Armenia.   

The workshop was attended by representatives of the Inter-Agency Coordination Committee on Malaria as well as public health and other representatives of two regions in Armenia where malaria was indigenous. The Inter-Agency Coordination Committee on Malaria was established in 2011 to coordinate implementation of the National Plan of Action to Prevent Re-introduction of Malaria Transmission for 2010-2015. The Committee is comprised of representatives of the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Territorial Administration, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Environment and Nature Protection and WHO.