China has been declared malaria-free by the World Health Organization, after a 70-year effort to wipe out the disease. It has been four years since the country has registered a case.
During the 1940s, China reported 30 million cases a year. It is the first country in the Western Pacific region to be awarded malaria-free status in three decades. Other countries in the region that have previously achieved this include Australia in 1981, Singapore in 1982 and Brunei in 1987.
Globally, 40 countries and territories have been granted a malaria-free certification by the WHO.
How did China achieve it? Part of the success of eliminating such a deadly disease was not only China’s long-term vision but also its forward-thinking.
The WHO’s Global Malaria Program director said, “This was a long-term plan, a…decision by the Chinese government, six or seven decades ago to eliminate malaria when malaria was a major cause of disease, death and poverty.