In April 2016, WHO declared that the European Region had achieved an important milestone: all 53 countries in the region had interrupted the chain of indigenous malaria transmission for at least 1 year.


Countries that maintain zero locally-acquired malaria cases for at least three consecutive years are eligible to apply for a certification of malaria elimination by WHO. This process is voluntary and can be initiated only after a country has submitted an official request to WHO; it involves field assessments by independent consultants and rounds of expert reviews.

Today, the Republic of Kyrgyzstan received the official WHO certification of malaria elimination. Globally, a total of 32 countries and territories have received this WHO certification, including 19 countries in the European Region.

The case of Kyrgyzstan

Malaria was eliminated in Kyrgyzstan in 1961 through large-scale campaigns. But after maintaining a malaria-free status for more than 25 years, the country reported several imported cases of the disease, mainly from Afghanistan. By 1986, local transmission of the disease had again taken root.

In the early 1990s, as Kyrgyzstan transitioned to independence from the Soviet Union, the opening of borders facilitated the free movement of citizens, including visitors from malaria-endemic countries. A financial collapse led to steep cuts in funding for the national health system. Weak malaria surveillance and an acute shortage of anti-malaria drugs and insecticides created favourable conditions for disease transmission.

Read more at World Health Organization