The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that Argentina is now officially malaria-free. The certification, given on the 23rd of May, is given when there have been fewer cases of transmission of the disease for three consecutive years. This status was given to 38 countries as of May 22, 2019.
Having killed 400,000 people alone in 2017, malaria is one of the biggest threats to human populations, most especially to children who are under the age of five.
The disease is transmitted via mosquitos. The symptoms include chills and other flu-like signs. Malaria has been a problem in Argentina for centuries, and by the 1970s, the government has taken measures to eliminate it. This included the training of health workers in the use of insecticides and effective response within the community.
As a result of this extensive program, many cases of malaria were treated as fast as possible. There were also collaborations done with neighboring countries. Bolivia and Argentina have worked together between 2000 and 2011 in the spraying of over 22,000 houses around the border and testing for the presence of mosquitos carrying malaria.
The border area was quite vulnerable to malaria. As such, the two countries committed to providing free treatment to ensure that all people could be reached.
WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has credited their cooperation for the elimination of many cases of malaria throughout the region. This would serve as an example for other nations to follow and consider. There are also moving clinics and ambulances to help with the treatment of malaria.
There is also an initiative by the United States government to help. The Thirteenth Annual Report of the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative mentions their technical and financial support as important stepping stones in the fight against malaria within the fiscal year of 2018.