World Health Organization (WHO) certified China earlier today malaria free. The country has not had malaria breakout for the past 4 years.
About 80 years ago, the disease ravaged Chinese people with 30 million cases resulting to about 300,000 deaths each year.
In the late 1990s and early 2000, it came up with a robust program of education, surveillance and technology to vanquish the disease.
Malaria is responsible for 1 – 3 million deaths per year where the majority of it’s victims are children below 5 years of age.
Africa accounts 9 out of 10 malaria victims worldwide. While this is saddening, the region has also halved cases from a high of about 800,000 to about 400,000 deaths per year in the past 15 years.
Why China succeeded –
• Unwavering political commitment to win over the disease
• Effective surveillance system – early detection of cases and an appropriate response
• Poverty reduction program which has seen housing, living conditions and improved healthcare system
• China’s universal health coverage – free healthcare coverage and access to affordable services