Paraguay is certified as malaria-free, becoming the first country in the Americas to be granted this status, by the World Health Organization (WHO), since Cuba in 1973.
“There are many reasons for this success but here are the key ones: first, Paraguay national
malaria control programme focused on tracking the disease and preventing outbreaks, not just treating cases. Second, a network of committed health staff and community volunteers ensured no one was left behind in getting universal access to free primary health care and third, unwavering commitment and leadership at all levels” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, in a statement.
Identified in 2016 as one of the 21 countries with the potential to eliminate malaria by 2020, the South American Nation was supported by the WHO through it’s “E-2020” initiative.
Belize, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico and Suriname are some of the other E-2020 countries.
Between 1950 and 2011, Paraguay consistently made strategies and schedules to control and eradicate malaria, which was a major task for the country reporting more than 80,000 cases in the 1940s.
“Paraguay’s success demonstrates the importance of investing in robust, sustainable systems
for health, and I’m very pleased that the Global Fund supported this achievement,” said Peter
Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund.
The last case of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in the country was reported in 1995 and of P. vivax malaria in 2011.