By NewsDesk   @bactiman63

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced Monday that two additional countries have been certified as malaria-free–Algeria and Argentina.

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

Algeria is the second country in the WHO African Region to be officially recognized as malaria-free, after Mauritius, which was certified in 1973. Argentina is the second country in the WHO Region of the Americas to be certified in 45 years, after Paraguay in June 2018.

They reported their last local transmission of malaria in 2013 and 2010, respectively.

“Last year, Uzbekistan and Paraguay received certification as malaria-free countries, and this assembly will be joined by Argentina and Algeria, congratulations to both countries,” said the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“Their success serves as a model for other countries working to end this disease once and for all.”

The certification is granted when a country proves that it has interrupted indigenous transmission of the disease for at least 3 consecutive years.

Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease caused by a parasite. People with malaria often experience fever, chills, and flu-like illness. Left untreated, they may develop severe complications and die. In 2017 an estimated 219 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide and 435,000 people died, mostly children in the African Region.